WAZIRABAD – PML-N candidate Justice (retd) Iftikhar Ahmad Cheema on Tuesday won the NA-101 by-election (Wazirabad) by securing 82,420 votes.According to unofficial result, Cheema’s rival Muhammad Ahmed Chattha of PTI secured 80,123 votes. Earlier, polling during the NA-101 by-election remained peaceful at all the polling stations owing to tight security and proper arrangements by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).Paramilitary troops were deployed in and around the polling stations to ensure free, fair and transparent polling. The Pak Army troops did not allow the media men to go inside or stay near the polling stations. The media teams reached there from Islamabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat and Sialkot were kept away from the polling stations.
Gujranwala Commissioner M Asif said that no untoward incident was reported from any part of the constituency as the polling remained peaceful.
Meanwhile, the female workers of PTI staged a protest demonstration at Wazirabad Kutchery against the district administration for allegedly changing of the poling scheme a few hours before the start of polling. They chanted slogans against the government and termed it an engineered pre-poll rigging by the government. As many as 366,016 registered voters including 218,118 males and 167,898 females cast their votes in the by-election.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) made foolproof security arrangements for ensuring free, fair and transparent election. According to ECP officials, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) established 262 polling stations including 43 male, 43 female and 176 combine/joint polling stations in the constituency. Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Anwar Baryar said that eleven polling stations were declared as sensitive. The ECP installed CCTV cameras to monitor the election situation. The paramilitary troops patrolled in almost all the areas in the constituency to ensure peace and law and order. The people showed keen interest and enthusiasm especially women remained very active in casting votes. The number of male and female voters increased at all the polling stations with the passage of the polling time.
While violating the ECP Code of Conduct, the voters and supporters of the main political parties including PML-N, PPP and PTI provided voters pick and drop facility. The elected representatives including Manshaullah Butt, special assistant to Punjab CM, and MPA Ch Shaukat Manzur Cheema visited several polling stations in Wazirabad city to review the arrangements. The polling camps of PPP established near almost all the polling stations in Wazirabad presented a deserted look. Dozens of PTI party workers remained busy in performing Bhangra on the loud drums beats near their camps established on various inter-city roads including the Main Bazaar Wazirabad and local Kutchery. Wazirabad had always been a stronghold of PML-N. During the 2013 General Elections, its candidate Iftikhar Ahmed Cheema had won the seat with big lead of votes. Now, the by-polls were as he had been disqualified for not declaring his assets.
Three main political parties PML-N, PTI and PPP were in the political race. PPP had fielded Ejaz Ahmed Cheema Advocate. Meanwhile, SP Saddar Gujranwala Dr Rizwan Khan said that the paramilitary troops were also patrolling in the constituency to ensure peace.