DERA GHAZI KHAN-Poor response of the voters disappointed the candidates in the by-election to PP-240 with the expected turnout of around 25 percent amid the incidents of firing, scuffles and mismanagement of the polling staff.

The PML-N supporters allegedly damaged the vehicle of independent candidate Sardar Imam Bakhsh Qaisrani after a supporter of the ruling party was injured who was then shifted to Nishtar Hospital Multan.

Earlier, the polling process started at most of the polling stations as per schedule but due to mismanagement of the staff, the polling could be started late, causing great inconvenience to the voters.

Zain Abbas Qaisrani, a PML-N supporter got critically wounded after supporters of the rival group allegedly opened firing over the reports of rigging at Hammlani polling station in the jurisdiction of Kot Qaisrani Union Council. Later the PML-N workers allegedly beaten up independent candidate Sardar Imam Bakhsh Qaisrani and also damaged his costly vehicle. He was then rescued by tribal elders while the police have yet to register a case against the accused.

The polling plan for various areas was changed which included Basti Ganjey Wali, Basti Serai, Basti Taggey Wali, Basti Dheedhey, Basti Rustmani and about 50 percent of the registered voters were shifted to Basti Jhangey while the rest of voters could not find their names in the lists available with the polling staff.

The voters of Jhok Mitha Khan, Bakhro Wali Basti, Mapal and Basti Laisrey were shifted to remote location of Basti Ganjey Wali polling station set up at Boys Primary School due to which a large number of the voters could not poll their votes.

Meanwhile, Independent candidate Sardar Imam Bakhsh Qaisrani alleged that the administration fully supported the ruling PML-N candidate and at a large number of the polling station bogus votes have been polled. “The entire state machinery was used for electioneering of the PML-N candidates and he was provided a free hand to woo voters and supporters of the rival candidates,” he alleged.

Qaisrani accused the rival candidate of violating the code of conduct and the Election Commission of turning a blind eye to violation of law, saying that it not an election rather selection of the ruling party candidate.

Another Independent candidate, Khawaja Mohammad Dawood Sulemani also levelled same allegations and said that at a number of polling stations more votes have been polled under the influence of PML-N candidate than the number of the registered voters. He said that the PML-N candidate committed worst rigging in the by-election.

On the other hand, polling for by-election to PP-240 Taunsa Sharif started at 8am and continued till 5pm.

A total of 16 candidates including Mumtaz Aziz Qaisrani of PML-N and PTI-backed independent candidate Khawaja Dawood Sulemani are in the run for the by-election.

There are a total of 150,410 registered voters in the constituency for which 128 polling stations have been established.

The seat fell vacant after the disqualification of PML-N’s Shamoona Qaisrani. The PP-240 results were challenged by independent candidate Kh Dawood over irregularities and malpractices during 2013 general elections.