GUJRANWALA

In what can be described as unexpected developed, PML-Q candidate Ch Nasir Cheema won the by-election to 33 polling stations of Punjab Assembly constituency PP-97 here on Sunday, according to unofficial results.

Nasir Cheema got 10,405 votes while his opponent PML-N candidate Ch Muhammad Ashraf Warriach obtained 9,966 votes. Though Ch Nasir Cheema belongs to the PML-Q, he enjoyed full support of the PTI, PPP, PAT and Hamid Nasir Chattha group in the by-election. It is to be noted that the Election Tribunal had ordered re-polling in 33 polling stations of PP-97 after rigging was proved in the constituency during the general elections 2013. PML-N candidate Ch Ashraf Warraich had won the constituency by getting 29,756 votes in the general election 2013 while Nasir Cheema remained runner-up with 23,335 votes.

Meanwhile, PML-N worker Zahid Anayat alias Tumma Butt was arrested by the police for allegedly trying to enter a women polling station and was later granted bail and released. According to Zahid Anayat, he had been a candidate in the general election 2013 and according to the Election Commission rules, he was entitled to enter any polling station but the police officer concerned was a relative of the PML-Q and PTI backed candidate that’s why the (cop) misused his powers.

Earlier, the re-polling in 33 polling stations of PP-97 Gujranwala was held here amid tight security on Sunday. There is a tough contest between PML-N Ch Ashraf Warriach and the PML-Q candidate Ch Nasir Cheema who was also backed by the PPP and PML-Q. However, the polling remained peaceful with some reports of minor clashes between workers of the two rival parties.

The Election Commission made elaborated arrangements for the re-polling while affective security was deployed to meet any unpleasant incident.

A total of 52,550 voters exercised their right to vote while the polling process which started at 8am in the morning continued without a pause till 5pm.