KARACHI - MQM, a traditional victor of the port city, remains in a leading position in all the three constituencies – one national assembly and two provincial – in the by-polls conducted here on Thursday.

According to unofficial results of NA-254, MQM’s Rashid Ali has been a visible contender with securing 20034 votes leaving far behind PTI’s Naeem Sheikh who has secured 2033 votes. Similarly, MQM’s Muhammad Hussain leads the provincial constituency PS-95 by getting 47474 votes and PPP’s Jameel Zia got 1254 votes. MQM’s Rauf Siddiqui has secured 24938 votes from PS-103.  

Polling for one national and two provincial assembly constituencies in by-lection concluded at 5pm after nine hours continues voting that began on 8am. The voters turn out in the by-election that has been considered as the largest by-polls in the country’s history witnessed low at most of the polling stations.

Smooth polling process was witnessed in a survey conducted by The Nation.

It was observed that polling staff and administration has maintained the codes and instructions of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure free, fair and transparent by-election.

Army, Rangers and police personnel were deployed in and outside the polling stations to control any untoward situation during the polls. Security personnel did not allow irrelevant persons in and outside the polling stations. The banners were erected at the entrance of the polling station inscribed with the instructions that cellular phones and cameras were not allowed inside the polling station.

The security personnel on duty were allowing the voters to enter after search and viewing their National Identity Cards. The election camps of various political parties were placed to guide the voters about their polling booths and remained empty as about 30 percent of the voters showed up to user their right to vote.     

It was also reported that polling at various polling stations started with a delay of half an hour that includes NA-254 (Korangi) and PS-95 (Orangi Town). At various polling stations of the PS-95, police stopped the media men from entering the polling booths and reporting the voting activities. Later, Rangers and Army officers allowed them for the coverage of the event.

At various polling stations of NA-254 constituency, army personnel disallowed the voters having duplicate NICs. The army personnel told that they are directed to allow only those with original NIC to cast their vote while the voters demanded that they should be allowed to cast their vote with the duplicate NIC.

On the other side, no major untoward incident took place while some six people were wounded during a clash between the two political parties in Korangi area.

The clash took place near the polling station No 40 in the constituency of NA-254 in Korangi’s Vita Chowrangi area. Police officials said the activists of MQM and PTI collided with each other over unexplained reasons.

Meanwhile, an assisting presiding officer and a polling agent were apprehended allegedly for casting bogus votes in a polling station in Shah Waliullah Nagar, Orangi Town. The assistant presiding officer was Muhammad Bilal and polling agent Muhammad Naveed.

According to police officials, the accused were apprehended by the personnel of the Pakistan Army when they were casting bogus votes at a polling station in a private school in the constituency of PS-95. The accused were later handed over to the Rangers for further questioning.