LAHORE - The ruling PML-N was in a state of shock after Senate results thought it won 11 out of the total 12 seats from Punjab.

After the final count, it was found that at least 38 PML-N legislators in Punjab Assembly had not cast their votes in favour of the party candidates.

In order to clinch all the seven general seats from Punjab, the PML-N had divided its 310 members in seven different groups according to the number of its candidates. Every candidate had his own group of MPAs.

While the six candidates had an equal number of MPAs (48 each), the seventh one was left with only 22 legislators as the total PML-N count in the Assembly ended here. The last group of legislators was meant for Rana Mahmoodul Hasan, a party candidate from Multan. He was to be elected on the basis of second priority votes of the PML-N voters from other groups. Rana was also to benefit from the surplus votes coming from the six candidates as each one of them had two or three extra votes in his group.

But the disgruntled MPAs did not follow this arrangement at the time of voting as some of them voted for the PTI’s candidate, Ch Muhammad Sarwar; while others supported the PPP’s nominee, Shehzad Ali Khan. Consequently, there were no surplus votes left for the seventh candidate having less number of first priority votes.

Surprisingly, Ch Sarwar emerged as the highest vote taker from Punjab assembly. He got 44 first priority votes (4400 points) though the actual strength of his party in the Punjab Assembly is not more than 30 members. Likewise, the PPP candidate obtained 26 votes whereas his party has only eight members in the Assembly.

The defection by the PML-N lawmakers was also evident by the less number of votes secured by the party candidates on the list of seven general seats.

Rana Maqbool got 43 votes, five less than the actual strength of his group of MPAs. Three candidates, Mussadik Malik (42 votes), Asif Kirmani (42 votes) and Haroon Akhtar Khan (42 votes) were short of six votes each, while Shaheen Khalid Butt (41 votes) and Rana Mahmoodul Hasan (40 votes) lost seven and eight votes respectively as against their actual allocation of 48 members each.

Not only this, around 10 PML-N voters also violated the party discipline by not voting in favour of Zubair Gull who had been allocated 48 votes in the original scheme. He got 38 votes and lost the seat. Instead, they voted for Rana Mahmoodul Hasan who was originally given only 22 members and was to be elected on the basis of surplus votes and the second priority votes.

All the present 368 Punjab Assembly members exercised their right to vote on the seven general seats, but three votes were rejected due to technical mistakes.

For the seven general seats, a minimum quota of 4563 points (45.63 votes) was calculated by the election staff on the basis of 365 valid votes. But none of the candidates contesting against seven general seats was elected in the first count.

According to election formula, Zubair Gul, being the third lowest (3900 points), resulted in his elimination from the contest. The 700 points of Kamil Ali Agha of the PML-Q and 2600 points of Shahzad Ali Khan of PPP were transferred to rest of the candidates in proportion to their respective score. Ch Sarwar of the PTI perhaps benefitted the most under this formula and became the highest vote taker.