PML-N urges ECP not accept PPP plea for postponement of by poll

KARACHI: PML-N has urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to not accept the Sindh government’s request to postpone the by-poll, and it also wrote a letter to ECP.

The by-election in NA 249 Karachi is scheduled on April 29.

“The PPP, being a ruling party in the province, has realised its defeat in the by-poll in the constituency and has therefore been trying to make efforts to delay the poll,” said Miftah Ismail, the PML-N’s provincial general secretary and its candidate for the by-election.

In the meantime, the PPP will “influence the voters in the constituency by announcing and undertaking development work, says the PML-N.

Ismail says in the letter that the ECP has turned a blind eye to all such complaints made by various candidates and political parties contesting the by-poll. He says the Sindh government has painted an unrealistic picture of the Covid-19 situation in Karachi, as the situation in the province was very much under control as compared to other parts of the country.

The PML-N has said the coronavirus SOPs can be implemented more strictly, but postponement of the by-poll is not the solution.

Pak Sarzameen Party head Mustafa Kamal also wrote a letter of ECP, not to postpone the by elections.

Miftah Ismail is contesting the by-election on the PML-N ticket from the constituency.

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz is scheduled to arrive on April 24 to run the party’s candidate by-election campaign in Karachi’s NA-249, a party spokesperson said Saturday.
The PML-N vice-president will address public gatherings in the constituency and business community in Karachi.
The National Assembly seat fell vacant after PTI’s Faisal Vawda resigned following his election as a senator last month.
In July 2018 general election there was close contest on NA-249, with Muhammad Faisal Vawda secured 35,344 votes to defeat Shahbaz Sharif, the PML-N’s central president and former chief minister Punjab polling 34,626 votes.

ANP and JUI-F have withdrawn their candidate for the NA-249, to support PML-N’s Ismail.
JUI-F fielded Maulana Umar Sadiq, former MPA from Baldia Town, for the by-polls. Its Sindh leadership was opposed to withdrawal in favour of the PML-N candidate. The party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman intervened.
PPP is not willing to withdraw its candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhel in favour of the PML-N. On March 20, PML-N’s senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met PPP chiarman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Karachi to seek support for the NA-249 by-polls. But failed to convince PPP.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari met the party’s District West officer bearers, including MNA Abdul Qadir Patel and candidate Mandokhel and discussed the upcoming by-polls in the constituency.
Later PPP launched campaign for its candidate.
PML-F withdrew its candidate Sardar Abdul Rahim, saying that one seat will not matter in the present set up. PML-F and GDA chief Pir Pagara asked the party candidate and Karachi workers to prepare for local bodies elections.

2018 General elections
In the 2018 general elections Abid Hussain of TLP ( now banned) stood third as he secured 23981 votes.
Remaining polled votes were as under: Aslam Shah of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan 13534 votes, Qadir Khan Mandokhail of PPP 7236 votes, Syed Atta Ullah Shah of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan 10307.

The constituency
NA-249 constituency of Karachi borders Balochistan and is exclusively composed of the entire Baldia Town, divided ethnically between Pashtun, Hazarewal (Hindko) Punjabis and Urdu-speaking populated neighborhoods w