LODHRAN – Jehangir Khan Tareen of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) defeated Siddique Baloch of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with a thumping majority in by-election for the National Assembly constituency NA-154 (Lodhran), according to unofficial and unconfirmed results.
PTI candidate Jehangir Tareen secured 135,280 votes while PML-N contestant Siddique Baloch bagged 97,129 votes in the by-poll held amid tight security.
Baloch had won this seat in 2013 general elections as an independent candidate and later joined PML-N.
He was de-seated by an election tribunal in August on a petition of Tareen who claimed rigging in polls.
The official result will be announced later.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan congratulated Jehangir Khan Tareen and his team for what he said great victory in Lodhran by-election in Lodhran.
In his message on twitter, the PTI chairman said he wanted to thank all the PTI supporters and workers for their determination and hard work.
He also announced to visit the constituency to thank the voters for what he said refusing to sell their conscience for the Rs2.
5 billion package announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Addressing supporters after reports poured in from the polling stations announcing his victory, a jubilant Tareen said that the people of his constituency had rejected the PML-N government’s ‘bribe’ of Rs 2.
5 billion by voting overwhelmingly for him.
“Nawaz Sharif should arrange Rs 2. 5 billion that I’m coming to take from him,” he said, taking a jibe at the prime minister.
Tareen vowed that he would spare no efforts for the development and progress of Lodhran.
He also said that he would resolve the problems faced by people in the constituency.
He said that people of Lodhran have rejected the policies of the ruling party.
Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan telephoned Tareen and congratulated him for his success in NA-154.
The notification for holding election in NA-154 was issued after Supreme Court’s October 28 verdict in which the apex court vacated the stay on conducting a re-election in NA-154 and lifted the restriction on PML-N candidate Siddique Baloch to contest the by-election.
On August 26, an election tribunal had banned Baloch from contesting elections for life over allegations that he possessed a fake degree.
Talking to media after casting his vote, Baloch said that PTI workers had earlier attacked PML-N supporters in the constituency.
The PML-N workers responded to the assault, however, both the sides should have avoided clashes, he added.
Baloch alleged that Tareen’s character was like that of a defaced body.
“PTI approached every tribunal it could and has always claimed to be a victim of rigging without exception,” he added.
Baloch further alleged that Tareen had distributed Rs 1 billion among people, but the people were voting for the ruling party, adding that the results in the evening will clear everything.
He said that Tareen spent around Rs 500 million within the last three days “to hijack the election”.
Baloch claimed that he was also offered money.
Baloch added that PTI had no chance in NA-154, as he was the fifth generation of a family that always won there.
No incident of violence has been reported because of strict security arrangements.
NEO Web Desk