PPP and PML-N continue a war for votes in Lahore’s NA-133 where a by-election is due on December 5. Recently, a controversial video surfaced on social media where the Opposition is allegedly buying votes by bribing voters.
The video shows voters taking an oath on what is claimed to be the Holy Quran. Meanwhile, PML-N posters cover the walls in the background. As per the video, the voters first took an oath on the Quran that they will vote for the PML-N candidate. After that, they received Rs. 2000.
PML-N came under fire as a result of the video. Taking to Twitter, PTI officials lambasted PML-N for the highly immoral act. They also reiterated their stance on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), something which the Opposition is highly against.
Important to note, this is not the first time PML-N is being accused of bribing voters. In the past, PML-N was accused of bribing voters with plates of biryani or “Qeemay walay naan.”
PMLN can't resist their rigging tactics even when given virtual walkover by ECP after disqualifying PTI candidate in #NA133. Purchasing vote & taking oath on Quran is highly immoral & shameless conduct. ECP should now disqualify PMLN candidate also to prove fairness. #شرم_سے_عاری pic.twitter.com/vZr3x6xWin
— Sobia Kamal Khan (@SobiaKamalKhan) November 28, 2021
On the other hand, PML-N denied that the workers bribing the voters belong to the party. PML-N claimed that it is a malicious campaign launched by PPP. On this note, PML-N’s Muhammad Arif registered a complaint with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) stating that the PPP is “buying off votes in the constituency”.
Moreover, PML-N’s Ali Pervaiz Malik also appeared on video to speak about the matter. He said he condemns the move and hopes that PPP will take notice of such ongoings and put a stop to them immediately.
“This fake video, in which all the characters are masked, this attempt to launch a campaign (against PML-N), has been rejected by the people of Lahore,” he said.
PPP denies accusations
Meanwhile, PPP rejected the accusations. PPP Punjab’s secretary of information, Shahzad Cheema, noted that such videos are doing the rounds on social media, saying that “the clips are being made to go viral by both parties”.
He claimed his party had not issued directives to anyone to give any entity any money.
“If this has occurred at any level, the PPP strongly condemns the act,” he said. Cheema said that the videos are a “ploy” to ruin the election.
PPP Central Punjab’s general secretary, Syed Hasan Murtaza, issued a video statement accusing PML-N of according respect to the “note” (currency) instead of the “vote”.
“PML-N cannot help but engage in Chhanga Manga politics,” he reportedly said.
Read more: Can PTI dethrone PPP from Sindh government?
ECP takes notice of the video
As per media reports, the Returning Officer of the ECP issued an order to take action on the alleged video of vote-buying by swearing on the Holy Quran.
According to the spokesperson of ECP, Pemra chairman, and Nadra chairman will conduct a forensic inquiry. Consequently, they will submit a factual report and identify the people in the video.
Furthermore, the ECP directed strict action by identifying the election office in the video and verifying those involved in vote-buying. ECP ordered the Returning Officer to complete the investigation by November 30 and submit a report.
To sum up, ECP asserts that it will not allow any candidate to violate the law in the elections.It will take strict action against those involved.