Twenty PTI lawmakers from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly remain absent from the meeting chaired by PM Imran Khan on Monday, according to sources.
The prime minister visited the city today after PTI ran into disruption in the recently held Nowshera by-election, in which the PML-N candidate won from the PTI camp.
Reports emerged that PTI lost the election due to internal party divisions as Defense Minister Pervez Khattak’s brother was reportedly irritated by the party leadership after his son was denied a ticket to take part in the election.
A resolution supporting the party’s Senate candidate was passed by consensus during the meeting, said Special Assistant to the Chief Information Minister, Kamran Bangash.
He said that the prime minister was briefed in detail about the party’s recent defeat in Nowshera’s by-election, claiming that the PML-N had adopted “modern methods” to rig the elections.
“There is a 6,000-7,000 difference in forms 45 and 46,” Bangash said, adding that the PML-N had brought in experts to rig the vote.
He said that the prime minister had been informed that his party intended to move Pakistan’s Election Commission (ECP) over the election results, adding that PTI would disqualify the winning candidate, Ikhtiyar Wali.
“We will never allow the people’s trust to be stolen,” he said.
Sources confirmed that 20 lawmakers – 14 MNA and six MPA – remained absent from the meeting chaired by the prime minister.
MPs did not attend the meeting due to busyness and various other reasons, said the source.
During the meeting, the prime minister emphatically told lawmakers that anyone who wants to sell his vote in the upcoming Senate elections must leave the party.
“Everyone knows about the MPA selling its vote,” he said.
The prime minister spoke about previous Senate elections, saying that some party MPAs later sold their votes for money, adding that he had removed them from the party after learning about it.
“The opposition is afraid that PTI will get a majority in the Senate,” he was quoted as saying by the source.
The prime minister recalled during the meeting that his party had always campaigned for transparent elections, adding that the government, in the same spirit, was supporting the call for an open vote in the Senate elections.
Speaking about the Daska by-election, the prime minister reportedly said that the PTI candidate should request a recall for the polling station at NA-75.