ISLAMABAD - Youngsters Sunday turned out in droves to their respective polling booths to exercise their right to choose party leaders for Islamabad chapter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf during first phase of PTI’s countrywide intra-party elections.

Though the facility of casting vote while sitting at home through cell phone was available but they prefer to visit nearby polling booths for the purpose. The overall voters’ turnout was at 72.1 percent at around 7:30 pm, when still four and half hours were left to vote.

Turnout was high at union councils including Rawal Town, Kuri, Chirrah and Jhangi Syedan, where it was around 80 per cent, while as lower as 13.1 per cent in Sector E-8 and 13.5 per cent in union council Malpur. Total number of PTI registered voters in Islamabad region is 62,112.

While some 893 candidates from across Islamabad are running for 520 party positions.

Out of 520, 164 seats are reserved for women. Election results would be compiled at central office in Karachi and would be announced on Monday afternoon (today).

PTI had established 41 polling stations across 40 union councils of Islamabad region to facilitate those voters who either don’t have access to cell phones or not know how to vote through the new technology gadgets. In every union council election was held for 9 general and 4 women seats. Party activists and media persons present at the PTI central office expressed their astonishment when turnout suddenly climb up to 72.1 per cent at 7:30pm, as it was at 49.2 per cent at 6:30pm.

“Ask the Karachi office to look into the matter, as if the turnout continue to rise in this way it would cross the 100 per cent mark after an hour,” a PTI activist commented in light mood.

Earlier, in the morning a scuffle between the supporters of two main groups contesting the elections - Ali Awan group and Aamir Mughal group - was reported over the issue of establishment of a polling booth at the residence of Aamir Mughal.

While Aamir Mughal blamed the other group for rigging the elections at three polling booths. “Supporters of Ali Awan group took the presiding officers present at three polling booths along with them,” Mughal informed his supporters at central office.

While in several union councils voters complained for delay in establishment of polling booths.

PTI leaders including Javed Hashmi, Hamid Khan, Shafqat Mehmood, Pirzada Rahat Quddusi, Aila Malik, Qazi Anwer and others visited polling booths established in Sector G-9, G-10 and I-10.

Later, according to a press stated issued by PTI media wing, PTI chief Imran Khan congratulated the PTI workers for taking part in intra-party election stating that the PTI would get rid of the family control in the political parties.

“This is a historic day today. The PTI workers have laid foundation of change and a new Pakistan would emerge from these polls where the peoples’ will would prevail and there would be no place for political monarchs. This is a real change and this change process would continue till the time when the people would see their true leaders taking over from the coterie of corrupt,” Imran Khan remarked.

PTI leaders also alleged government for creating hindrances by blocking three phone lines dedicated for voting. On the occasion, Dr Israr Shah said that the PTI election was a challenge for other political parties as the PTI had set a process of change in the country’s political system. He said from now on, no political activist even in other political parties would accept nominations by their dictatorial leaders.