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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Article 266 of the Constitution calls for holding of Senate elections through secret ballot.

“The allegation of sale and purchase of votes against the parliamentarians was aimed at defaming the public representatives,” he said while talking to the media at the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan here on Saturday where he had gone along with his party candidates to file their nomination papers for the Senate elections.

Shah alleged that the parliamentarians of the ruling party had revolted against party decisions because they had selected non-party members for Senate election.

Replying to a question about the chances of success of the PPP candidates, Murad Ali Shah said, “We have fielded the best candidates.”

Talking about extension in the date of filing of nomination papers, the chief minister said that while sitting here he learnt through the electronic media that the Election Commission of Pakistan had extended the date for filing of the nomination papers.

“Earlier, we have raised the issue that the date for filing of nomination papers was made very close but nobody paid any heed, and now when we have completed our nomination process the Election Commission has extended the date,” he said.

Responding to a question over wheat shortage, the chief minister said that he was surprised that the federal cabinet had leveled the allegation of hoarding of wheat against the Sindh government.

“Why will we hoard it? But it was their failure to ensure procurement of wheat in the Punjab,” he said and added: “I am surprised that the PTI government has forgotten the statement of its minister, Fakhar Imam, on the floor of the National Assembly that 6.6 MMT of wheat harvested in the Punjab had disappeared.”

It did not disappear but was smuggled which needed to be investigated by them, he alleged.

He said that the federal government had been pressing the Sindh government to release wheat in May which was not an established practice.

“The wheat crop is harvested in Sindh in March and April, and, therefore, wheat remains available in the market in a great quantity,” he said and added that wheat stock in the market started running out from November when the provincial government intervened by releasing wheat to stabilize its price.

Murad Ali Shah brushed aside the impression that his government was settling Kashmiris in Sujawal.

“It was a letter the federal government had written to the Sindh government. Otherwise there is no such proposal,” he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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