LAHORE: All is set for the by-elections on as many as 20 constituencies of the Punjab Assembly on Sunday (today) for which all necessary arrangements have been finalised.
Polling was scheduled to start at 8:00 am and it will continue till 5:00 pm without any break.
Voters can also know their polling stations through a specially activated SMS 8300 service for their guidance.
By elections are being held in the constituencies of Punjab Assembly, i.e., PP-7 Rawalpindi; PP-83, Khushab; PP-90 Bhakkar; PP-97 Faisalabad; PP-125, Jhang; PP-127, Jhang; PP-140 Sheikhupura; PP-158,Lahore; PP-167, Lahore; PP-168, Lahore; PP-170 Lahore; PP-202 Sahiwal; PP-217 Multan; PP-224, Lodhran;PP-228, Lodhran; PP-237, Bahawalnagar; PP-272- Muzaffargarh;PP-273 Muzaffargarh;PP-282, Layyah and PP-288 Dera Ghazi Khan.
There are 175 candidates in the run and main contest is expected between PML-N and PTI candidates.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has completed all necessary arrangements for the by-polls. A total of 4.58 million registered voters, including 2.19 million women, are eligible to vote in the by-polls for these seats. As many as 3131 polling stations, including 731 for males, 700 for females, besides 1700 combined polling stations have been established across the 20 constituencies. A total of 9,562 polling booths have been set up for the by-polls. The ECP has declared 1304 polling stations sensitive and 690 highly sensitive. Polling stations from Lahore (4 seats) and Multan (one seat) have been declared sensitive, sources said.
CCTV Cameras have already been installed at highly sensitive and sensitive polling stations while the contingents of Punjab Rangers will patrol the areas and army will be in a stand-by position to avert any untoward situation.
The ruling PML-N needs to win a total of 9 seats in the by-elections to gain a majority to elect their Chief Minister in the country’s biggest province.
Since, the 20 Punjab Assembly constituencies fall in Rawalpindi, Khushab, Bhakkar, Faisalabad, Jhang, Sheikhupura, Lahore, Sahiwal, Multan, Lodhran, Bahawalnagar, Muzaffargarh, Layyah and Dera Ghazi Khan districts, the bye-elections activity has generated much political activities.
It may be noted that these 20 seats were declared vacant due to defection of members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Meanwhile, the ECP has set up central and provincial control rooms for the bye-elections. A central control room has been established in Election Commission Islamabad. Complaint regarding polling, can be registered on the phone No. 051-9204402 -3051-9210837- 8 FAX Number 051-9204404.
Secretary Election Commission Umar Hameed Khan visited Provincial Election Commission Office Punjab in Lahore on Saturday and reviewed polling and security arrangements.
Speaking on this occasion, he said that on the request of Election Commission, two thousand FC personnel have been deployed by Interior Ministry to maintain law and order during by-elections. “We have full support of state institutions for holding free, fair and transparent elections,” he said. He appealed to the people to come out and exercise their right of vote without any fear.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022