Heated contest likely in NA-267 by-poll

ISLAMABAD - An interesting contest is expected between Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) in Jhal Magsi constituency in Balochistan as schedule for by-election was announced yesterday.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said by-polls in NA-267 will be held on April 28 this year calling upon the contesting candidates to submit nomination papers by March 30.
The seat fell vacant after Supreme Court in its judgment on March 2 ordered re-polls in NA-267 on a petition filed by opposition PTI’s leaders Abdul Rahim Rind. As a result, the ECP declared the constituency as vacant by disqualifying PML-N’s Khalid Hussain Magsi as MNA.
The constituency is of vital importance for Chairman PTI Imran Khan who held a press conference on Wednesday alongside Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind warning the government of dire consequences if the by-elections were rigged again in the constituency.
NA-267 is one of the few constituencies where election results were declared null and void by the apex court citing rigging allegations.
However, PML-N’s Khalid Magsi expressed his dissatisfaction about the decision of the apex court arguing he should have not been deprived of the slot of MNA for the fake votes.
“If voters had polled fake votes then the election staff is responsible. Why I was punished for the wrong committed by others?” Mr Magsi told The Nation on phone yesterday.
Magsi had secured over 42,000 votes in 2013 elections while his opponent PTI’s candidate Abdul Rahim Rind had accused him of bagging fake votes in 40 polling stations in Jhal Magsi constituency. Magsi had fought the seat independently and later joined PML-N.
“Yes, I will contest the polls again and this time I will fight on party ticket of PML-N. I have already started campaign and my opponent of PTI too is active in campaigning,” he informed.
PTI’s Abdul Rahim Rind is supported by Sardar Yar Muhammd Rind. He had demanded the ECP to appoint retired justices as Returning Officers (ROs) in the constituency as the current election staff was protecting the interest of PML-N in the area.
Sources in PTI said Imran Khan was expected to hold a public rally in support of his candidate as the judgment of the Supreme Court had boosted the morale of PTI in the area.

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