PTI moves SC against Hamza’s relief package on power bills

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday wrote to the Supreme Court (SC) accusing that Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz has trampled the court orders and election code of conduct by announcing a mega relief package on power bills ahead of by-elections in the province.

In a letter to the registrar of the apex court, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that “fake” Punjab CM announced the package few days before the by-polls on 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly in an attempt to influence the voters.

On Monday, CM Hamza had announced free electricity for households consuming up to 100 units per month from July. The provincial government claims that the relief package would benefit nine million poor families, about half of the population of the province.

Fawad in the letter said that the SC on July 1 had formulated a formula to save Punjab from constitutional complications and crisis, and to ensure transparent and free by-elections in the province.

He said that CM Punjab was only allowed to use regulatory powers till July 22 and Hamz himself had assured the court that he did not intend to rig the by-elections.

Fawad said that PTI has serious reservations over Hamza’s individual as well as official role as CM Punjab, who was not only allegedly involved in violating the apex court’s orders but also the election code of conduct.

Hamza announced the package at a news conference for the people of the province, which was broadcast live on national media including state TV, reads the letter.

Former information minister Fawad said that this was “a fake package as it could not be materialised due to the fast dwindling economic situation of the country.” However, Hamza’s sole purpose is to use the relief obtained from the court for its own political advantage and to influence the voters, he added.

He pointed out that PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, who was convicted by a court, was campaigning for by-elections across the province. She first announced the package in an election meeting a day before Hamza announced it formally.

Fawad said that police crackdown against PTI workers was continued on direct orders of CM Punjab, as they were being implicated in fake criminal cases.

He said that all the relevant details would be provided to the apex court and sought the opinion of the court in this regard.

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