LAHORE: Former Punjab governor and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on Sunday accused the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) of using state machinery in the campaign for the NA-122 by-election.
Polling began at 8:00AM Sunday morning in Lahore’s NA-122, considered one of the biggest by-elections in the country’s history.
Sarwar, who was also present at the polling station early in the morning, also claimed that CCTV cameras installed at polling stations were not functioning.
“I am concerned. We were told that cameras inside the polling stations will be working but they are not,” he said in a message posted on social media website Twitter, adding: “Police is also not supportive and seems like an extended arm of PMLN.”
“Our election is against the Punjab government. The police are fighting against us, the cabinet of the Punjab government and the federal cabinet is campaigning against us. Even WAPDA and railways is campaigning against us here,” Sarwar earlier told reporters outside a polling station.
“This is not a competition between two political parties. It is a battle between the Tehreek-e-Insaf and all the forces of the status quo,” he added.
The key NA-122 seat was vacated in August following the verdict by an election tribunal against former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of PML-N, declaring the 2013 poll results null and void.
Almost 20 candidates are contesting the by-election, but the main competition is expected between Sadiq and Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Aleem Khan.
By-elections were also simultaneously taking place on the Punjab Assembly’s PP-147 seat in Lahore and the National Assembly’s NA-144 seat in Okara.