Pakistan

Security high alert as polling for NA-149 by-polls begins

MULTAN: A close contest is expected between the PML-N backed Javed Hashmi and an Amir Dogar, who is enjoying support of the PTI, in NA-149 by-elections today, ARY News reported Thursday.

Polling in the constituency began today at 8am and will continue till 5pm. Section-144 was imposed in the constituency, with all security institutions put on high-alert to prevent any untoward incident.

Both the candidates – Hashmi and Dogar – are running for the NA-149 polls independently, however they enjoy support from two mainstream political parties.

As many as 285 polling stations and 770 polling booths have been set up for the polling. While 105 polling stations have been declared sensitive by law enforcement agencies.

According to ARY News correspondent, female voters at different polling stations were large in numbers in the morning than males. However, overall turnout looked encouraging in the first hour.

Hashmi won the NA-149 seat in 2008 general elections on PML-N ticket, while he again emerged victorious on the same seat in 2013 elections as the PTI candidate.

However, he is now contesting the by-polls from the same constituency as independent candidate. He had resigned from NA-149 as PTI representative after he developed differences with party leadership.

On the other hand, Amir Dogar, who had previously won on the PPP ticket, is now running for the constituency as independent candidate, but he is backed by PTI.

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