Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is locking horns today with the PTI-backed Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) in Umerkot PS-52 by-election being held today.
Polling is underway for the election which will be continued till 5 pm amid strict security measures to prevent any untoward incident. The seat fell vacant after the death of PPP stalwart Syed Ali Mardan Shah, who had been winning the constituency for the past 30 years.
With the support of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the PPP this time has nominated Mardan Shah’s son, Syed Ameer Ali Shah for the constituency.
On the other hand, the GDA which is backed by the ruling party in the Centre, has fielded former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim.
The contest is expected to be a fierce one, with fierce competition between the two contenders. Ameer Ali Shah hails from Umerkot while Dr Rahim comes from the neighbouring Tharparkar district.
According to the reports, 50 polling stations have been declared highly sensitive. There are a total of 128 polling stations, out of which 40 are sensitive and 50 highly-sensitive.
The ECP official said that there are total 154,000 votes registered in PS-52, out of which more than 70,000 are female voters.
Regarding the election staff, the ECP officials said 128 presiding officers, 432 assistant presiding officers, 432 polling officers, and 1,421 policemen and rangers’ personnel have been deployed.
Furthermore CCTV cameras have been installed with strict instructions that no one except a presiding officer can use a mobile phone.
In addition to this, the government has declared a public holiday in the constituency to facilitate the voters for casting their votes.