A close contest is expected between ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as polling for the PP-20 by-election in Punjab’s Chakwal is underway on Tuesday.
The balloting for the key by-poll began at 9am and will continue without any break till 5 in the evening, Express News reported.
The PP-20 Chakwal-I seat had fallen vacant on October 30 after PML-N MPA Chaudhry Liaquat Ali Khan passed away.
The main battle for the constituency is expected between the ruling party’s candidate Haider Sultan and Raja Tariq Afzal of the Imran Khan-led PTI.
Awami National Party (ANP), Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and Tehreek-e-Insaniat have also fielded their candidates for the by-poll.
Police personnel, Rangers and Pakistan Army have been deployed to thwart any untoward incident from happening in the area.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has set up 227 polling stations for 279,530 registered voters in the constituency, where around 144,000 male and 135,000 female voters are using their right to franchise.
The ECP has declared 82 polling stations as ‘highly sensitive’ while 45 were put in the category of ‘sensitive’. Over 1,800 polling staff is performing duties for the smooth and transparent polling process.
Biometric verification of the voters is also being carried out on a trial basis.
Chaudhry Liaquat Ali Khan of PML-N had won the seat with a margin of over 26,000 votes in the 2013 general elections.
The constituency has been a stronghold of the ruling party ever since its late MPA Liaquat started winning the seat in 1985. He had retained the seat for the sixth consecutive time in the 2013 elections.
However, the arch-rival PTI, with the support of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), was likely to give the ruling party a good run for its money in today’s by-polls.
PP-20 Chakwal-I seat had fallen vacant on October 30 after PML-N MPA Chaudhry Liaquat Ali Khan passed away