Khanewal Polling is underway in the PP-206 Khanewal by-election Thursday as midday turnout was low, either because of a lack of interest or because it was cold.
The by-election is ironic because of the nomination of candidates by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The PTI had fielded Rana Mohammad Saleem in the 2018 general elections. He is now contesting the by-election on a PML-N ticket.
On the other hand, the widow of former PML-N candidate and MPA Nishat Daha, Noreen Nishat Daha, is representing the PTI.
As many as 13 candidates are standing in the by-election, including the PPP’s Mir Wasiq and TLP’s Sheikh Mohammad Akmal. However, the real competition is expected between the PTI and the PML-N. In the 2018 general elections, Nishat had defeated Saleem by 3,546 votes.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has set up 183 polling stations with 512 polling booths. There are 230,698 registered in the constituency.
A PPP candidate brought an armed guard to a polling station and was stopped. The law enforcement authorities took the guard away. However, the candidate said that he had entered a polling station and found a discrepancy and complained about it, and as he exited the building, the authorities took his guard away.
The seat fell vacant upon the death of disgruntled PML-N MPA Nishat Daha in October this year.