HYDERABAD: Protests erupted across Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions on Monday with all the political parties crying foul against rigging during Saturday’s polls.
Former Sindh culture minister Sassui Palijo, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate from PS-85 (Thatta), led a sit-in in Gharo and accused the influential Sherazis of tampering with the results. PPP has won three of the seven seats in the district, including one by Owaiz Muzaffar. The remaining four were claimed by the Sherazis.
“I have won from the constituency but the election results were changed late at night in the returning officer’s office,” claimed Sassui, adding that she will challenge the results before the election tribunal.
A shutter down strike was observed in Mithi and Diplo in Tharparkar district on PPP’s call. Although the party made history by defeating the influential Arbabs on NA-229, workers were unhappy about PS-60 in Mithi, which was won by Arbab Ghulam Rahim and accused him of using unfair means.
In Hyderabad, the PPP organised a protest near Fateh Chowk against alleged Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of rigging on NA-219 and PS-49. A truck was set ablaze during the protest.
Hyderabad also saw a strike by Ayaz Latif Palijo’s Qaumi Awami Tehreek in Qasimabad and rural tehsils. Ayaz, contesting from PS-47, accused PPP’s Jam Khan Shoro of rigging in his constituency, the only seat in Hyderabad whose results have not been announced.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) called a strike in Kunri tehsil of Umerkot district from where PPP has won all three seats. PML-F leader Muhammad Ali Shah Jamote, Razzak Memon and Nazeer Rahu led the blockade of the National Highway in Matiari district and condemned the alleged rigging by the Makhdooms. The Makhdooms have won the lone NA seat and both provincial seats from the district. In Tando Allahyar, the PML-Nawaz leaders gave a strike call for today (Tuesday) against the PPP. PML-N’s Dr Irfan Gul Magsi said he would submit the proof of rigging before the tribunal.
Benazirabad saw another day of protests as the MQM laid to rest its two workers killed in a clash with PPP supporters. In Tando Muhammad Khan, the PML-F demanded re-election on PS-53. The seat has been won by PPP’s Syed Aijaz Shah Bukhari.
PML-N’s candidate from Jamshoro, Malik Changez, also demanded re-election and accused Malik Asad Sikander, PPP candidate from NA-231, of helping out his party man Fakirdad Khoso.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2013.
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