Mandi Bahauddin's by-polls: Voting continues as PTI, PML-N activists clash

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Monday, 08 June 2015 14:40

GUJRAT: Polling was temporarily suspended at polling station No. 138 in Mandi Bahauddin's NA-108 constituency on Monday following a confrontation between Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N workers.

A contingent of police was deployed at the polling station in order to control the situation but was unable to restore order due to a large number of charged activists present at the scene.

Polling restarted following the deployment of rangers.

Rangers have also been deployed at polling station No. 80 where polling was suspended after shots were fired during a clash of PTI and PML-N activists. Three people were injured during the exchange and have been transported to a nearby hospital.

A PML-N candidate alleged that PTI workers are attempting to delay polling.

In the constituency, 112 polling stations have been labelled 'sensitive', while 62 are being called 'most sensitive'.

Polling is underway for the by-election in the NA-108 constituency of Punjab's Mandi Bahauddin.

A local holiday has been declared in the Mandi Bahauddin district today by the administration in connection with the by-election, for which the campaigns by candidates pitched by various political parties ended on Saturday midnight.

Polling is scheduled to last till 5pm, without any breaks.

As many as 11 candidates, including that of seven political parties and four independents, are in the race for the constituency that had fallen vacant after the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ijaz Chaudhry.

Chaudhry was elected on NA-108 as an independent candidate during the 2013 General Elections.

He later joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) before an election tribunal disqualified him for possessing a bogus academic degree. He then joined the PTI.

According to independent observers, the actual contest in the constituency is between PML-N's Mumtaz Ahmed Tarrar and PTI’s Tariq Tarrar Raika, whereas the Pakistan People's Party's (PPP) Asif Basheer Bhagat, has also worked hard.

Riaz Farooq Sahi of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Hamza Nasir Iqbal of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek's (PAT) Azam Gujjar are also in the race for NA-108.

The constituency comprises some 417 villages of two tehsils — Mandi Bahauddin and Phalia — with at least 0.9 million population. The number of registered voters in NA-108 is 431,269, including 246,594 males and 184,675 females.

As many as 289 polling stations have been set up —170 joint, 63 for males and 56 for females — while total 809 polling booths have been established.

Some 4,000 police personnel have been deployed at the polling stations for the security duty whereas the contingent of Rangers will be a stand-by arrangement in case of any untoward situation.

An earlier version of the story had erroneously reported that Ijaz Chaudhary had won the NA-108 seat on a PML-N ticket during the 2013 General Elections. The error is regretted.

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