ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has blamed Railways Minister Saad Rafique for the marginal victory of the PML-N in the October 11 by-election for NA-122.
The premier also directed Rafique to start connecting with railway workers because, he said, the disconnect between the two was the major factor that kept the former NA speaker from securing a landslide victory.
PML-N sources said Nawaz and his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, had ordered a study to find the reasons for the marginal difference between the number of votes cast in favour of Sadiq and his competitor Aleem Khan of PTI. The report highlighted three factors that brought the ruling party close to losing its stronghold Lahore – the leading of which was cited as Rafique’s demeanour.
Four colonies of the Pakistan Railways fall under NA-122, with some 7,500 registered voters. Since 2002, Sadiq has been winning the constituency with the support of Garhi Shahu and these four railway colonies. This time around, however, he seemed to have been deprived of the railway workers’ votes.
The report blames Rafique for that, saying that since taking charge of the railways ministry, he has ignored the railway workers of these colonies.
The minister has been blamed for barring anyone from coming to him with their problems. Reportedly, he does not even allow anyone to enter his office.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.