NA 101 by-polls: PML-N wins, but PTI refuses to lose


Two ‘PTI supporters’ killed in constituency as Chattha pins blame on PML-N

Chattha refuses to sign result, submits application for recount; says he will consider thumbprint verification next

Two days after a by-election was held in NA-101 Wazirabad, uncertainty still prevails about who would end up holding the hotly contested seat. The uncertainty was not helped after Muhammad Ahmad Chattha, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s candidate in the by-polls, refused to sign the result provided to him by the District Returning Officer and instead submitted an application for recount.

The constituency was plunged into chaos two days ago after what the PTI protesters said was an attempt to rig the elections. Protesters clashed with the police as well as PML-N workers which left a total of 9 people, including three police officers injured. Amid violent clashes Tuesday night, it was reported that Hamza Shehbaz Sharif had arrived in the constituency, which prompted PTI quarters to claim he was overseeing the rigging that was taking place before their eyes.

The violence did not stop Wednesday as two people died in a firing incident in a village adjacent to Ahmednagar Chattha. Ahmad Chattha claimed that the deceased were members of PTI and that PML-N Wazirabad President Ijaz, who hailed from the same village as the victims, was involved in the incident.

Speaking to Pakistan Today, Ahmad Chattha alleged that results had been doctored to ensure a victory for the PML-N’s candidate. He said that a total of 2,238 votes had been rejected during the counting while his margin of defeat was only 1,669 votes.

Chattha said that the returning officer had tried to force his polling agents to sign off on tampered results on polling stations where he had clearly won. He said that the returning officer then asked him to sign a copy of the results, which had been doctored. Chattha said that is why he refused to sign the document.

When asked how he planned to proceed, Chattha said he had submitted an application for recount and that he was looking into biometric verification of the votes.

According to the results provided by the returning officer, of the 386,016 total registered votes in the constituency, 171,313 were cast on election day. PML-N’s Iftikhar Cheema received 82,887 votes, while PTI’s Ahmad Chattha bagged 81,218. The turnout was 44.4 per cent. PPP candidate Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmad Cheema received 3,545 votes.

Chattha rejected the impression that even his joining of the PTI failed to bring him a victory in the polls.

He said that he lost the election by 40,000 votes in 2013. Now, his margin of defeat was only 1,600 votes. He said that while the ruling party had tried their best to rig the elections, his PTI support was enough to overcome such conspiracies.

Iftikhar Butt, a PML-N councilor from Wazirabad city told Pakistan Today that allegations of rigging are ridiculous as any chance of rigging goes out the window when the election is conducted under the supervision of the armed forces, as was done in this case. He said that there is no truth in the rumors that PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz came to Wazirabad on Tuesday night to tamper with the election results.

“The rigging mantra has become the second name of PTI. They cry foul after every election,” he maintained.

Ghazanfar Ali, a worker of PTI from the constituency told Pakistan Today that state machinery was utilised to defeat Ahmad Chattha and that the mandate of the people had been stolen for the third consecutive term in NA-101. Talking about the ‘PTI-effect; on Chattha’s campaign, he said, “Two seats of Provincial Assembly come under NA-101 PP-103 and PP-104. The PP-103 seat has been a stronghold of Chattha for a long time. However, this time, he also received considerable support from PP-104 as Imran Khan addressed a large public gathering in Wazirabad city,” he said.


On Tuesday, PTI supporters pelted stones and glass bottles on the police personnel deployed outside the returning officer’s office while protesting alleged rigging by the PML-N candidate. In retaliation, the policemen resorted to firing tear gas shells and baton charge on the political activists.

PTI candidate Ahmad Chattha posted on his social media page around 10pm Tuesday that he had won the election with a margin of 6,200 votes. After some time, he claimed that the Assistant Commissioner (AC) Wazirabad had refused to give him the final result, and accused the administration of conspiring to change the election result.


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