LAHORE - PPP’s Central Punjab President Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo yesterday blamed the top party leadership and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the defeat of party candidate in NA-122 bye-election.

“Provincial chapter of the party wanted to boycott the election due to blatant violations of code of conduct by the rival candidates; but the top leadership insisted to remain in the contest,” he said.

Wattoo alleged that billions of rupees were spent on the election campaign by the PTI and PML(N) candidates and the ECP remained indifferent to all this despite complaints lodged by the PPP candidate.

“People saw the mind blowing expenses being incurred by the two candidates with their own eyes”, he said.

He added that after the decision of the party’s top leadership, the Punjab organisation was left with only four days to launch its election campaign.

On the poor performance of PPP in Okara by-elections, Wattoo said that the local chapter of the party was divided and so was the vote bank.

On the PML-N defeat in the same constituency, he said: “The farmers had given loud and clear message to the PML -N government that their anti-farmers policies were not acceptable to them.”

About the defeat of PTI candidate Ashraf Sohna, Wattoo said Sohna’s fate was not different from other such characters who left the PPP in the past for the sake of their ulterior motives.

He maintained that the present rulers came to power on the behest of the non-democratic forces and had been running the government since then on the pattern that was neither democratic nor poor friendly.

The present government gets 20 per cent electoral advantage automatically by virtue of being in power,” he observed.