Thin margin victory: PML-N reclaims NA-122

Published: October 12, 2015
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PML-N supporters celebrate the success of Ayaz Sadiq. PHOTO: TARIQ HASSAN/EXPRESS

PML-N supporters celebrate the success of Ayaz Sadiq. PHOTO: TARIQ HASSAN/EXPRESS

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Abdul Aleem Khan. PHOTO: FILE

PML-N supporters celebrate the success of Ayaz Sadiq. PHOTO: TARIQ HASSAN/EXPRESS
LAHORE: 

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday won the battle royal in the National Assembly constituency of NA-122 after polling 4,161 votes more than its rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) but could not secure the Punjab Assembly’s PP-147 seat.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of the PML-N defeated Abdul Aleem Khan of the PTI in a close contest in the NA-122 by-poll to reclaim the coveted Lahore seat.

PTI leaders appeared to take comfort from the narrow margin of the loss. Aleem Khan pointed out that the PTI had won PP-147, which the PML-N had won in the 2013 elections. “If Imran Khan had lost by 9,000 votes, a PTI worker reduced the gap to just 3,000 votes, he said. “If the government had not reworked the voter lists and moved some voters out of NA-122, I would have won this. We have secured two legs of the throne of Lahore today.”

PTI leader Chaudhry Sarwar said: “Loss by a few thousand votes is no real loss. Our confidence after today’s election has increased, not decreased.”

The seat had fallen vacant after an election tribunal unseated Sadiq on a petition filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, which also resulted in the former’s ouster as the NA speaker.

According to unofficial results consolidated from different polling stations, Sadiq bagged 76,204 votes while his opponent secured 72,043 ballots.

In the PP-147 by-poll, however, PTI’s Shoaib Siddiqui defeated PML-N’s Mohsin Latif. As per the unofficial results, Siddiqui bagged 31,993 votes while his opponent, who had won the seat in the 2013 general elections, secured 28,641 votes.

After the NA-122 results were consolidated, members and supporters of the ruling party at Sadiq’s central office took to the streets to celebrate their victory.

The PML-N leadership congratulated Sadiq, set to reclaim his lost position of NA speaker. In a tweet, Maryam Nawaz told Sadiq that he had “put an end to politics of destruction, abuse [and] accusations”. Aseefa Bhutto Zardari congratulated Maryam Nawaz on Twitter on the NA-122 win.

Later, addressing the media in Model Town, Sadiq said he couldn’t thank God enough. He also thanked his party’s leadership for supporting him all the way. He was flanked by PML-N central leader Hamza Shahbaz.

Congratulating Sadiq on his win, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said Sadiq’s victory was the victory of politics of public service, adding that “fake politics of those trying to purchase the conscience of the people of Lahore with notes has been exposed”.

He said: “Conscious people have buried the politics of lies, allegations and hypocrisy forever. Politics of public service has once again won. Politics of stubbornness and of those creating hurdles in the journey of developing the country have been defeated.”

Later Aleem Khan claimed a number of voters of NA-122 were moved out of the constituency. “This is our main concern. We wrote to the election commission this morning. Our committee will sit and review evidence from the 2013 general elections and today’s by-election.”

Sarwar said this was the first time he had participated in an election in Pakistan and nowhere in the civilised world had he seen government departments actively participating in the elections like in Pakistan.

Charged atmosphere

Voter turnout for the NA-122 and PP-147 by-elections picked up momentum in the afternoon, as large queues started forming in front of the polling stations.

A large number of people – men and women, young and old – thronged to the polling stations in Garhi Shahu and Samanabad, and on Multan Road, Allama Iqbal Road and Bahawalpur Road.

Compared to other localities, a high turnout of female voters was observed at polling stations in Garhi Shahu and Samanabad.

Young voters were seen queuing up outside polling stations an hour before the voting started. Some of them said they were voting for the first time, while many had also cast their votes in the previous general elections.

Activists of PML-N and PTI were charged throughout the day: they gathered at their camp offices set up near the polling stations, shouted slogans in favour of their respective candidates and rallied on major thoroughfares.

More than 8,000 police officials and hundreds of army and Rangers troops were deployed as part of the security arrangements for the by-elections.

No major incident was reported. However, a few altercations broke out between PML-N and PTI supporters in some localities. Four people were injured in Basti Saidan Shah and two in Rehmanpura during the clashes.

Meanwhile, the polling staff at several stations lamented “insufficient” compensation for electoral duties. Objections were also voiced against army troops allegedly barring polling agents of independent candidates from entering the stations.

At some polling stations, no more than one agent was allowed inside, complained some party workers.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • DAAL MAASH
    Oct 12, 2015 - 11:20AM

    we could not buy enough to reach that target ! a game of money come to an endRecommend

  • Oct 12, 2015 - 11:29AM

    Dear All,
    PTI gained here with a 2442 votes difference and won PP 147 with 3500 vodes so it indicate that PMLN popularity going down.Recommend

  • samiullah khatir
    Oct 12, 2015 - 11:33AM

    Congrats to Pakistan and thanks Lahore for voting right, your opinion valued. IK must accept his failure and should concentrate in KPK Recommend

  • Layman
    Oct 12, 2015 - 12:07PM

    The official margin announced by EC is 2443 votes, with PTI winning PP 147 and loosing NA 122 b y only a thin margin just shows you where PMLN stands after 8 years of continues rule in the province and on top of that they lost NA 144 also..Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 12, 2015 - 12:10PM

    Victory is victory whether by 1 run, Its good win for PML (N)…Recommend

  • Raghu
    Oct 12, 2015 - 12:16PM

    Congrats to all PTI voters for winning PP-147. Great work!

    Congrats to PMLN also for winning an election which was free and fair. You get congrats if you win honestly, you get dharnas if you win by rigging. Recommend

  • Fahad
    Oct 12, 2015 - 12:19PM

    @samiullah khatir:
    IK always accepts his defeat if it is a honest and equal match. Like in the case of Karachi and Haripur by-election. But if rigging is done, then no one will accept the results.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 12, 2015 - 12:22PM

    @M Sajjad:

    Inane logic. Niazi & his partners in crime should now conjure enough courage to say:

    WelcomeBackMrSpeaker.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 12, 2015 - 12:26PM

    PTI leader Chaudhry Sarwar said: “Loss by a few thousand votes is no real loss. Our confidence after today’s election has increased, not decreased.”

    I wonder if this “London Conspirator’s” confidence has also increased after the results in NA-144 Okara.Recommend

  • Oct 12, 2015 - 12:38PM

    The margin is small only because it was PML-N vs. PTI, PML-Q etc. combined — goes to show how strong PML-N is individually! Recommend

  • M Sajjad
    Oct 12, 2015 - 12:42PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi
    You will see soon the corruption cases at PMLN, then you will realize.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Oct 12, 2015 - 1:30PM

    Despite having the huge Punjab bureaucracy behind it the PML-N managed a very SLIM victory……..if anything the PML-N has some serious thinking to do……and the PTI must behave maturely, because in politics there is always a tomorrow.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 12, 2015 - 2:01PM

    @M Sajjad:

    Corruption cases? In which court of law? How many convictions? Length of prison sentences? Unless you can come up with these answers, please keep your lame argument about “Corruption” to yourself. Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 12, 2015 - 2:06PM

    @Parvez:

    PML-N also had the same “huge Punjab bureaucracy” behind it in PP-147 as well. Don’t you think it could have managed a SLIM victory there as well if it wanted to. The same goes for NA-144 Okara.Recommend

  • Raghu
    Oct 12, 2015 - 2:17PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    Confident sure did increase after result of PP-147!Recommend

  • Ali
    Oct 12, 2015 - 4:50PM

    If all the money funneled into Lahore via the Sharif brothers at the detriment of the rest of the province only produced a slim victory, what are they going to do in the rest of Punjab that they neglected.. Faisalabad, Multan, etc have seen little/nothing in terms of investment.Recommend

  • xor
    Oct 12, 2015 - 4:51PM

    Sharif family member lost in Lahore lots of things to ponder by pmln.

    Moreover those in center always upper hand in by-election. Sharif empire gonna crumble in next GE electionRecommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 12, 2015 - 5:16PM

    They lost NA-1 Peshawar, Mianwali, Karachi, Multan, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahuddin, Nankana, Haripur and had their surety bond forfeited by ECP in NA-144 Okara…..but they still claim a “Moral Victory” in all these places.

    Instead, PML-N having won NA-122 Lahore is still not the winner. Someone kill me please!Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Oct 12, 2015 - 7:01PM

    Any sensible and fair judgment is that PML N lost in a big way by a large margin. Compare this win margin with Ayaz’s last win and add to this the win by PTI of PP 147 and you get the factual figure and it is in favour of PTI in a big way.Recommend

  • zafar
    Oct 12, 2015 - 10:15PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    Corruption cases will be there but since NAB and judiciary also sold to Noon, no one will be punished or arrested or convicted. Really that simple.Recommend

  • Azi
    Oct 13, 2015 - 6:34AM

    Congrats to Pakistanis, who are going to re-live more failed projects like nandi pur. You deserve it.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 13, 2015 - 9:16AM

    @zafar:

    Hence Mr. Genius, innocent until proven guilty. It is really that simple.Recommend

  • Jackie
    Oct 13, 2015 - 3:54PM

    @Layman:
    While PMLn lost NA144 to its own who stood as independent, PTI fell from third place in 2013 to 4th in the byelection even after personal campaigns by Imran Khan. What do u th think about that? Plus not that voters stayed away because they were angry with Ayaz Sadiq for not visiting the constituency after 2013 but they still didn’t vote for PTI after all the money and personal campaigns by Imran Khan.Recommend

  • Jackie
    Oct 13, 2015 - 3:59PM

    @Raghu:
    The NA122 result has vindicated the JC decision that irregularities on part of ECP staff and not rigging happened in 2013. Both candidates got almost the same votes when adjusted for voter turnout plus the result was the same as 2013. Time Imran Khan apologizes to the nation and stop telling lies.Recommend

  • Jackie
    Oct 13, 2015 - 4:05PM

    @Pakistan:
    A win is a win regardless of how big or small the numbers. Plus PMLn was up against a group of parties contesting together which included PTI, JI, PAT, PMLQ, MWM, PPP dissidents and other smaller regional religious parties. So PMLn being single handedly able to defeat all of them is a big win regardless of the margin. PTI margin would be far smaller if all these parties had contested separately. Recommend

  • Mamu Paki
    Oct 14, 2015 - 3:05PM

    @Jackie:
    You are right in saying that a win is a win no matter it be a one run win. But i dont agree that it was a big win for PMLN. Other parties dont even have a respectable representation in this area. If PPP got 800 votes this time, then you can imagine what other parties would have got if they had participated separately. It was a face saving win that showed that more than 50% people of lahore dont support the logics of PMLN. It was not a big win coz both the Provincial seats which came under NA-122 were miserably lost by PMLN. Forget about PTI, tell me how could an Independent candidate take away a seat from a party who has ruled Punjab for more than 2 decades?Recommend

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