Much-hyped NA-246 by-election today

Much-hyped NA-246 by-election today

muchKARACHI: The arena for election contest has been set in NA-246, Azizabad constituency where all relevant arrangements have been finalized. Polling will continue from 8am to 5pm without any interval.

This National Assembly constituency boasts of at least 357,000 registered voters who will cast votes at 213 polling stations to elect their favorite electoral candidate. All 213 polling stations have been declared sensitive by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The government has also announced a public holiday in Karachi’s district Central today to allow citizens to cast their votes.

Fool-proof security
Strict security arrangements have been put in place on the occasion with more than 7000 rangers and police personnel deployed at the polling stations.

It should be mentioned here that the rangers personnel will also stand guard inside the polling stations.

Surveillance through CCTVs
Moreover, CCTV cameras have been installed at all the polling stations on the request of Rangers—to be the first incident in the country’s history that security cameras were used inside polling station.

The ECP also banned use of cellular phones by voters during the election process.

Pillion-riding ban
As part of security measures, Sindh government imposed pillion-riding ban in the constituency. It is pertinent to note here that pillion riding ban, that was initially announced for the entire city, will be effective in the district central alone at the behest of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

Control Room
The rangers established a monitoring room at Deputy Commissioner’s office for surveillance of the area. The control room will operate under police and the rangers.

Meantime, the election material has already been distributed among polling staff. The provincial election commissioner called a meeting of Presiding Officers (POs) yesterday and distributed election stationery and other relevant material. The sensitive material including ballot papers are under strict vigilance of the rangers.

Candidates of three major political parties in the fray – Kanwar Naveed Jamil (MQM), Imran Ismail (PTI) and Rashid Nasim (JI) – ran their aggressive canvassing campaigns to win the seat vacated by MQM’s former MNA Nabil Gabol.

Despite alliance in KPK, the JI and PTI leadership failed to forge coalition against rival MQM.

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