As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Sadiq Sanjrani was re-elected as the Senate chairperson on Friday, the political arena in Sindh heated up and political rifts came to the fore amid allegations of rigging.
While Murtaza Wahab of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)- which is part of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM) that fielded Yousuf Raza Gilani against Sanjrani for the top Senate slot- took a jibe at the PTI with regards to the discovery of 'spy cameras' in the polling booth during the election of Senate head and implied rigging on part of the ruling party in the Centre.
PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman again insinuated the involvement of parties part of the PDM in horse-trading and maintained that it had suffered a pratfall.
Of cameras and defeat, Wahab, who was speaking at the inauguration of Fawad Alam Street in Korangi, said that after the discovery of cameras in the polling booth during the election of the Senate chairperson, Prime Minister Imran Khan may now change his name to "Camera Khan".
Crying foul over Gilani's defeat- whose win against Federal Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on a Senate seat had raised the hopes of the opposition of securing another win- the Sindh government spokesperson said Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz had stated that they would "employ all tactics" for Sanjrani's win.
"His [Shibli's] statement turned out to be true," he added, implying rigging by the PTI.
Continuing his tirade against the ruling party, he said the PTI continued to exploit people for the last two and a half years. "And people's decision was clear in the by-polls [in which the PTI was defeated]," he added.
He went on to call the prime minister "egoistic", adding that he had betrayed the people of Karachi. Replying to a question, Wahab said Aslam Abro, who was part of the PPP in the past and had dissented against the PTI, which he was a member of now during the Senate polls, "is our political worker. If he wants to come back, we would welcome him."
Rejected votes and 'rigging' Separately, PPP Sindh chapter general secretary Waqar Mehdi claimed that seven votes that were rejected had been cast for Gilani and the rejection amounted to rigging.
"The rejection of the votes is unconstitutional and illegal," and went on to accuse the presiding officers of having a bias towards the PTI. In a statement, he pointed out that had the votes been not rejected, the count of votes in Gilani's favour would have been 49 against Sanjrani's 48.
"The PDM's victory has been stolen through rigging, which is unacceptable to people," he maintained.
Mehdi went on to say, "Today, 220 million people have seen the ugly face of the government and the way it deceives people. Today, the government has made a mockery out of democracy and the constitution."
Echoing Wahab's words, he added, "The federal ministers had been openly saying that they would employ all means for Sanjrani's win and they did so- they stole the votes and used spy cameras."
He said the PPP and the PDM would challenge the rejection of votes on the relevant legal forum, 'Victory of truth' .
Meanwhile, PTI leaders Khurram Sher Zaman and Saeed Afridi issued a joint statement, congratulating Sanjrani for being re-elected as the Senate chairperson and Mirza Afridi for winning the poll for the seat of the Senate deputy chairperson.
"The victory of PTI candidates on two key posts is the triumph of the truth," they said, adding that elements that had been involved in engineering elections and horse-trading in the past had suffered a pratfall and went on to accuse the opposition of rigging in the recently held Senate elections.
"The PDM's defeat today has exposed where the opposition stands," the PTI leaders stated.
"The election of the Senate chairperson has laid bare the cracks in the opposition, which makes noise after losing elections." They added, "The PDM will never forget that".
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