Wednesday Apr 21, 2021
The PML-N opposed delaying the April 29 by-poll in the NA-249 constituency in Karachi, The News reported on Wednesday.
The Sindh government, in a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), had requested postponement of the NA-249 by-election until the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
The government has said most of the cities in Pakistan are under the grip of coronavirus, with soaring infections and alarming death figures.
“The [COVID-19 infection] cases in Karachi and Hyderabad have started rising. The daily situation reports of last week show a remarkable increase in positivity percentage," read the letter.
“The electoral campaign, gatherings, corner meetings, and processions will definitely aggravate the situation.”
PML-N urges ECP not to delay polls
On the other hand, the PML-N has also sent a letter to the ECP, urging it to not accept the Sindh government’s request to postpone the by-poll.
The PML-N provincial secretary-general and its candidate for the by-election, Miftah Ismail, alleged that PPP, being a ruling party in the province, has realised its defeat in the by-polls and has, therefore, been trying to make efforts to delay the poll.
In the meantime, the PPP will “influence the voters in the constituency by announcing and undertaking development work, such as laying water and sewerage lines and road carpeting” in the various areas in the constituency, he added.
A PML-N lawmaker said that the commission has turned a blind eye to all such complaints made by various candidates and political parties contesting the by-poll.
"Sindh government has painted an unrealistic picture of the Covid-19 situation in Karachi, as the situation in the province is very much under control as compared to other parts of the country," he said.
“Other contesting candidates, including the PML-N, have already spent a significant amount of money in their election campaigns, and now any chance of poll days or its deferment shall cause an irreparable loss and injury.”
The PML-N has said the coronavirus SOPs can be implemented more strictly, but a postponement of the by-poll is not the solution.
The National Assembly seat comprising areas of Baldia Town fell vacant after the PTI’s Faisal Vawda resigned, following his election as a senator last month.