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KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Saeed Ghani has rubbished PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s allegations of fraud in the NA-249 by-election and termed PML-N defeat a result of their lack of preparedness and overconfidence.

Addressing a press conference at Bilawal House in Karachi on Sunday, Sindh Labour and Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that the PPP had requested the election commission to postpone by-poll due to corona pandemic but the ECP did not accept their request. He said his party nominee’s win was obvious. He said their position was strong and the party had already informed former governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair 10 days ago that the real competition would be between PPP and Tehreek-e-Labbaik, not with PML-N.

He wondered why PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail celebrated his ‘victory’ at 9pm even before the announcement of by-poll results. He said all results were put on twitter and they corroborated the results on Form 45. He said PPP was not in competition with PML-N rather its competition was with TLP whose candidate at one point was ahead of PPP’s candidate during vote counting. Ghani said not a single incident of rigging was reported on the polling day. He said PPP registered his complaints on election day. He confessed that 800 agents of PPP were carrying envelopes with money in them and this money was to be used as payment of vote challenging fee to the election commission. But media showed that our agents were using money.

He said when Miftah was leading the polls, nobody complained, when he lost, the PML-N started crying foul. He said their polling agents collected Form 45 at their candidate’s office. We have got all 276 polling stations’ Form 45 which we added to our system, Ghani said adding that during their own vote count TLP was for some time ahead of PPP but not the PML-N.

He said PPP was expecting 25,000 to 30,000 votes but could bag only 16,000 votes owing to low turnout. He said PPP sent Forms 45 of 261 polling stations and the PML-N said they were not provided any copy. He said they didn’t know what was going on in the election commission.

He said if PPP’s 249 by-polls win was a result of any kind of deal then Daska and Nowshera elections’ wins were also a part of deal. He said when PML-N won, it said it was a victory of truth and when the PPP won, PML-N said it was a deal. He said the PPP would not tolerate their double standard.

He further said if release of Asif Ali Zardari on bail was a deal, then release of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Sharif on bails were also part of deals. Ghani was of the view that PML-N’s mismanagement and overconfidence were real reasons behind its defeat in NA 249 by-elections. He said PML-N neither wanted to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan nor Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

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