The PPP defeated the PTI in the by-polls for Tharparkar’s NA-221 seat, according to unofficial results announced on Monday, retaining the seat for a third consecutive time.
PPP’s Pir Ameer Ali Shah Jilani trounced PTI’s Nizamuddin Rahimoon, according to the unofficial results announced by District Returning Officer Mian Mohammad Shahid, receiving 102,232 votes against Rahimoon’s 52,522 votes.
The National Assembly seat had fallen vacant after PPP’s MNA Pir Noor Mohammad Shah passed away from Covid-19 in December last year. His son, Jilani, was running in his place in the by-poll.
Voting was disrupted on Sunday after a small fire erupted at a polling station in the district’s Chachro tehsil, causing a media frenzy and panic among voters.
According to Tharparkar SSP Hassan Sardar Niazi, the “accidental” fire had erupted at polling station no. 126 near Chachro town and “caused damage to some ballot papers and other material”. The official, however, had refuted media reports that three persons had been detained for arson.
PPP leaders as well as workers, who gathered at Jilani House in Chhachhro, said the people of Tharparkar had rejected the PTI just like in other districts of the province.
Provincial minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah, MPA Arbab Lutufullah, Qasim Siraj Soomro, Dr Mahesh Malani, Arbab Ameer Aman Allah, Dost Ali Rahimoon, Ghulam Hyder Samejo and others said that despite the “undemocratic” moves by political rivals, the people of Tharparkar had shown trust in Jilani and helped him secure the seat.
Meanwhile, the PTI candidate, Grand Democratic Alliance’s (GDA) MPA Haji Abdul Razzak Rahimoon, PTI MNA Jay Parkash Lohana and others accused the PPP of harassing voters during the polling process.
Reacting to the development, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari congratulated the party’s candidate for winning the by-election.
“The people of Tharparkar have shown a mirror to illegitimate and incompetent rulers in the by-elections. The by-polls were the ‘selected’ government’s first test; Imran Khan has failed in all four provinces,” he said in a statement.
He added that it time for the prime minister to resign. “All democratic forces are on one page. The will of the people will also succeed in the Senate elections,” he said.
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman also congratulated the PPP candidate and the party chairman.
“From Thar to Nowshehra, in eight elections PTI is facing losses by bigger margins than before via the Pakistan Democratic Movement,” she said, urging the government to “read the message”.