PTI’s Jahangir Tareen wins NA-154 Lodhran by-poll: unofficial results
LODHRAN: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) General Secretary Jahangir Khan Tareen defeated Siddique Khan Baloch of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the by-election for NA-154 seat, according to unofficial and unverified early results here on Wednesday night.
Vote count of all 303 polling stations suggested Tareen has won the poll by about 36,423 votes. He bagged 129,606 votes while Balcoh managed to secure 93,183 votes.
Speaking to PTI workers and supporters, who rejoiced and started dancing on popular party anthems after hearing the early results, Jahangir Tareen said the PML-N’s sun would start setting from today onwards.
He said the people of Lodhran have rejected the government policies. “Get Rs2.5 billion ready I am coming to take it,” he said addressing the PML-N government in an apparent reference to Kissan package announced prior to today’s by-elections.
Without naming anyone, Tareen said the government official, who he claimed tried to rig the polls, should be ashamed of himself.
Earlier the polling that started at 5 in the morning concluded at 5:00 PM without any interval.
The seat fell vacant after Baloch had been disqualified by an election tribunal on Aug 26 on a petition filed by Tareen, who had accused the former of possessing a fake educational degree and committing massive irregularities during the 2013 general elections.
The Supreme Court however set aside the tribunal’s decisions and ordered re-election, allowing Siddique Baloch to take part in the by-polls.
Strict security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident in the constituency. 47 polling stations were declared most sensitive while 256 polling stations were slotted in the sensitive category.
The constituency holds about 419,182 registered voters; in which there are 228,870 male and 190,312 female voters.
Voters were not allowed to enter polling stations with mobile phones. A control room had also been set up in the office of District Police Officer (DPO) to monitor personnel and tackle any emergency situation.
Personnel of district police and Pakistan Army were deployed at various polling stations to keep the election process peaceful.
Around 1,200 police officials had also arrived in Lodhran from Multan to perform security duties during the NA-154 by-polls.
Although 20 candidates were vying for the National Assembly seat but the major contest was between Siddique Baloch, who won the 2013 elections in independent capacity, and PTI’s Jahagir Tareen.
Here’s a look at the short profile of two contenders:
Siddique Khan Baloch
Baloch hails from a feudal/political family, which has been traditionally among the major political players of the area for decades. His maternal grandfather Noor Muhammad was elected member of Punjab Assembly in 1976 while his father Haji Jindwada Khan emerged victorious in the general elections of 1988 and 1990 for the same provincial seat.
Baloch family has tasted defeat only once in 1993.
Siddique Baloch won his first election in 1997 when he became Punjab MPA. He could not partake in the 2002 elections due to an embargo on non-graduates. However, he got his nephew Ijaz Baloch elected on PML-Q ticket as his sons did not reach the age of contesting polls.
In 2008, Siddique Baloch bagged the NA-154 seat on PML-Q ticket.
After developing differences with PML-Q and PML-N, Baloch contested the 2013 general elections for both NA-154 and PP-210 seats in individual capacity and came out victorious against Jahangir Tareen of PTI and Rafiuddin Bukhari of PML-N respectively.
He later joined the PML-N after being elected as an independent candidate during the 2013 polls.
Tareen, who started his political career from Rahim Yar Khan instead of his native town Lodhran on the advice of his brother-in-law Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmmod of PML-Functional, has served as an adviser to Punjab chief minister from 1997-1998.
After winning the NA-195 seat in the 2002 elections, he was given the portfolio of federal minister for industry and trade. Later on he left the PML-F after developing differences with Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood and joined Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in 2012.
He contested the 2013 general elections from Lodhran on PTI ticket and lost to independent candidate Siddique Baloch.