Opp accuses govt of pre-poll rigging in NA-35 Malakand
ISLAMABAD: Senate Deputy Chairman Khalilur Rehman on Friday assured the opposition that he would refer their allegations against the government of carrying out pre-poll rigging in the by-elections for NA-35, Malakand Division to the Election Commission.
Sahibzada Khalid Jan and Maulana Gul Naeeb of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and Raza Rabbani of the Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarian expressed similar concerns over the pace of development work, particularly by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), in the said constituency. They alleged that the whole campaign was aimed at influencing the electioneering process.
Mr Kahlid Jan said the development schemes in the NWFP remained incomplete and the government was providing electricity polls and transformers to Malakand Division to support the Pakistan Muslim League candidate Salim Saifullah Khan. He warned the government that he would snatch away all the electricity polls if his development schemes were not undertaken by December 10.
Raza Rabbani said the state machinery and the national exchequer were being used to ensure the electoral victory of the government candidate in the by-election. He asked the deputy chairman to intervene the matter and write to the chief election commissioner.
Maulana Gul Naseeb pointed out a reported statement by Finance State Minister Omer Ayub Khan in which he had said that the development funds for the particular constituency would be stopped if the people did not vote for Salim Saifullah.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sher Afgan said the government had decided to reduce the amount for the development schemes from Rs 10 million to Rs 5 million to each member of the House as announced by former prime minister Zafarullah Jamali. However he assured the members that he would intervene the matter. He said the house was not a proper forum for airing allegations of pre-poll rigging and advised the members to seek intervention from the Election Commission.
The deputy chairman advised the opposition members to hand over written complaints to him and assured them of conveying the same to the chief election commissioner.
Yasmin Shah from government benches complained that her purposed development schemes were not being completed by the relevant government agencies, particularly by WAPDA.
Senator Prigul Agha from the government benches expressed the same concern and asked the government to release funds for the development projects shortly.