Sporadic violence in Pak’s Punjab bypolls

PTI worker Rana Naeem was arrested for causing a head injury to a PML-N worker at an irrigation canal polling station….reports Asian Lite News

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported in bypolls to 20 constituencies in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Sunday.

Of the total 3,140 polling stations, clashes were reported at 14.

Thirteen PTI workers in Lahore’s PP-167 were arrested for violating the election code of conduct by holding rallies in the constituency, Dawn reported.

Post the reports of violence, CEC Sikander Sultan Raja said in a statement that strict action will be taken against “those involved in creating issues in the election process” and that if candidates participate in such acts “they may also be disqualified”.

PTI worker Rana Naeem was arrested for causing a head injury to a PML-N worker at an irrigation canal polling station.

Complaints of voting area alterations were also received from the same constituency.

Polling was also halted in PP-168 for some time following agitation between PTI and PML-N workers.

Meanwhile, ahead of by-polls, PML-N Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Mian Jaleel Ahmed Sharaqpuri has tendered his resignation.

Sharaqpuri from PP-139- Sheikhupura-V constituency submitted his resignation to the Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi leave his assembly membership, ARY News reported.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry claimed that two more PML-N MPAs have resigned and the number game in the Punjab Assembly went more interesting.

Chaudhry said that an MPA Kashif Mehmood has been disqualified in Bahawalpur. He added that PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were having a total of 170 lawmakers in the Punjab Assembly which will be reduced to 168, reported ARY News.

Earlier, on Monday, PML-N leader Awais Leghari submitted his resignation letter citing his personal reasons.

He shared his resignation on his official Twitter handle in which he said he “will continue to work in the best interest of Pakistan and PML-N”, The Express Tribune reported.

The development came ahead of crucial by-polls on the Punjab Assembly 20 seats which will decide the fate of the Punjab government led by CM Hamza.

Last Saturday, Federal Minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and provincial minister Khawaja Salman Rafique of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also resigned from their ministries to participate in electioneering in their respective constituencies in Punjab.

PML-N leader Atta Tarar had said in a statement that both the leaders stepped down from their posts to run election campaigns for the ruling party candidates in the upcoming by-elections on 20 Punjab Assembly seats, according to The Express Tribune.

Sadiq said in his resignation addressed to the prime minister that due to some personal reasons he was unable to serve as the federal minister.

PML-N needs to win a total of 9 seats in the by-elections to gain a majority to elect their Chief Minister in the biggest province of the country. (IANS/ANI)

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