–Threaten to move LHC, SC if objections are not addressed
LAHORE: The fresh delimitation of constituencies in the city has perturbed the candidates of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the provincial and national assembly seats.
PTI central Punjab information secretary and member provincial assembly (MPA) from PP-152 (Lahore-XVI) on Wednesday said the fresh delimitation had raised concerns among the people and political parties.
“The PTI would record its protest in the Punjab Assembly and take the issue to the public. The party will also challenge the fresh limitation of constituencies in the Lahore High Court (LHC) and the Supreme Court (SC). The government has divided the constituencies on its own will and deprived the PTI of its support base. The areas of PTI’s influence have been changed, and we have serious objections over these new delimitations,” he said.
The lawmaker lamented that the fresh delimitations had been carried out without taking the local people and the party into confidence. “The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not consider the ground realities,” he added.
He also said PTI’s area of Model Town had been shifted to Shahdara and the ECP did not take into account that residents of Model Town living in the area for the past 40 years. “They are being deprived of their leadership,” said the parliamentarian.
He also raised objections over the fresh voters’ list and said, “The names and addresses of many candidates are missing from the voters’ list. We have met Punjab Election Commissioner Sharifullah but to no avail. The names of those who died 20 years ago have been included in the list of voters.”
“We will not contest the elections if this bogus list of voters is not discarded,” he said.
Separately, PTI MPA from PP-156 (Lahore-XX) Shoaib Siddiqui said that he too had reservations over the fresh delimitation and the list of voters.
“NA-122, the constituency of PTI Chairman Imran Khan is nowhere in the fresh delimitation and this has been done in a planned manner. As many as 11 union councils (UCs) have been placed in four constituencies. Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence has been excluded from NA-122. The ECP has broken the five-year-old relationship of the people with their leadership and this is not acceptable. This act of the ECP is condemnable,” said Siddiqui.
He said the PTI would check each voter on the list and would not allow bogus voters to participate in the 2018 elections at any cost.
PTI central Punjab President Aleem Khan said the constituencies had been divided like “cakes” in the fresh delimitation by the ECP. “The party would move the court if our objections over the new limitations are not addressed,” he said and alleged that the current delimitation had been done on the “behest of the ruling party”.
The PTI leader hoped that leaders of all other political parties would join them to address the reservations of the local people and political parties over the fresh delimitation.
It is pertinent to mention that the ECP on March 6 had issued a draft list of proposals for the delimitation of constituencies in the light of the 2017 census and invited constituents to file objections within 30 days. The ECP had reduced National Assembly (general) seats of Punjab from 148 to 141 while Lahore’s share in the NA had been increased from 13 to 14 seats in view of the increase in its population.