Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has raised questions on the visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to Lodhran prior to by-polls. PTI believes that visit of Prime Minister and announcement of hefty development packages would certainly affect the outcome of by-polls in the city.
Last week, in inexplicable haste, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif landed in Lodhran and Sialkot to announce development packages for both districts. It is pertinent to mention here that both the cities are going to witness by-polls and local body elections respectively. PTI’s stance makes sense that Prime Minister realized the sufferings of farmers just before the elections and after two and half years rule. He announced Rs 2.5 billion development package for Lodhran and also gave away cheques of Rs 5,000 each to farmers as direct relief.
Jahangir Tareen of PTI has written letter to Election Commission of Pakistan to look into the matter as visit of Prime Minister was nor pre-planned and it was an act to influence the result of elections. ECP already had accepted application of PTI which termed Rs 341 billion Kissan Package announced by the government in September as pre-poll rigging. Implementation of the package was stopped. Once again the PM has made a controversial move by announcing a package for a district where by-elections are going to be held soon. ECP announced the schedule for by-polls for Lodhran’s NA-154 constituency that will be held on December 23. The government has itself provided a chance to the opposition parties to criticise its policies. It was not the right time to visit these cities ahead of by-polls. It is ironic that PML-N’s relief packages come right before elections.
If the ECP takes no action against the PM, it will lose credibility. The day the ECP announced the schedule for the NA-154 by-elections, the PM realised his moral obligation of developing the backward constituency of Lodhran. It is a strange coincidence.
Relief packages ahead of by-polls are violation of rules and regulations and ECP needs to take action against such violations.