Polling station evacuated for PPP chief; PM shuns security protocol to vote in Lahore
SUKKUR: A polling station was vacated in Naudero town of Larkana district for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who came to cast his maiden vote in the local government elections in Sindh on Thursday.
Supporters of Ghulam Haider Narejo of PPP-Shaheed Bhottu (PPP-SB), who was contesting against PPP’s Dur Muhammad Mirani, strongly protested against disturbing the polling process for Bilawal and ‘holding the polling staff hostage’.
Bilawal was cheered by Jiyalas and booed by supporters of other parties as he walked to the polling station at Shaheed Major Mujahid Mirani Primary School, Naudero, of Municipal Committee Ward No 4 escorted by dozens of security guards.
Witnesses said the polling station was evacuated two hours ahead of Bilawal’s arrival, and the polling staff was locked up in a room. When Bilawal arrived at 12:10pm Jiyalas went wild with joy and rushed to have a glimpse of their leader, who rarely steps out of the Bilawal House.
Amid this hullaballoo, Bilawal entered the polling station, the polling staff was brought out of the closed room. He cast his vote and left. The polling process resumed after his departure. The PPP-SB said it was wrong to disturb the polling process for a single voter.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cast his vote in Lahore. He arrived at the polling station setting aside his protocol, cast his vote in Union Council No 70 of Sarai Sultan. After casting the vote, the prime minister waved to respond to the slogans, raised by a huge crowd in his support outside the polling station.
In his statement on the occasion, the prime minister said he had full faith in democracy and “Insha Allah, democracy is our future”. “Participation in democratic process by the people of Pakistan manifested their resolve for supremacy of the constitution and rule of law,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2015.