PM Imran Khan says Opposition fears PTI will secure majority in Senate
14 MNAs, six MPAs remain absent from PM Imran Khan’s meeting, say sources
PM briefed on recent Nowshera by-election loss, says Kamran Bangash
PESHAWAR: Taking a stern stance against horse-trading as the Senate elections approach near, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday categorically told PTI lawmakers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to “leave the party” if they intended to sell their votes.
Read more: PTI issues final list of Senate candidates
The prime minister visited the city today after the PTI suffered a defeat in the recently-held Nowshera by-election, where the PML-N candidate won from the PTI stronghold.
Reports had emerged that the PTI had lost the election due to internal party rifts as Defence Minister Pervez Khattak’s brother had reportedly been miffed with the party leadership after his son was not given the ticket to contest the election.
Read more: Blow for PTI: Nomination papers of Senate candidate Saifullah Abro rejected
A resolution backing the party’s Senate candidates was passed with consensus during the meeting, said Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Information, Kamran Bangash.
He said that the prime minister was briefed in detail about the party’s recent loss in the Nowshera by-election, claiming that the PML-N had adopted “modern methods” to rig the polls.
“There is a difference of 6,000-7,000 in forms 45 and 46,” alleged Bangash, adding that the PML-N had brought in experts to rig the polls.
He said that the prime minister had been told that the party intends to move the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the election’s results, adding that the PTI will get the winning candidate, Ikhtiyar Wali, disqualified.
“We will never let the people’s mandate be stolen,” he said.
Sources confirmed that 20 lawmakers– 14 MNAs and six MPAs– remained absent from the meeting chaired by the prime minister.
The lawmakers did not attend the meeting due to preoccupations and various other reasons, said the sources.
Read more: Video surfaces of PTI lawmakers allegedly receiving bribes before Senate elections 2018
During the meeting, the prime minister categorically told lawmakers that whoever wanted to sell his/her vote in the upcoming Senate elections should leave the party.
“Everyone gets to know about the MPA who sells his/her vote,” he reportedly said.
The prime minister spoke about the previous Senate elections, saying that some MPAs of the party had then sold their votes for money, adding that he had dismissed them from the party after finding out about it.
“The Opposition is afraid that the PTI will secure a majority in the Senate,” he was quoted as saying by sources.
The prime minister recalled during the meeting that his party had always campaigned for transparent elections, adding that the government has, in the same spirit, supported the demand for open balloting in the Senate elections.