Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said lawmakers had the right to vote in accordance with their conscience.
Talking to reporters at the Election Commission office the other day, he said that Article 266 of the Constitution called for holding the Senate elections through a secret ballot, adding that the allegation of sale and purchase of votes against parliamentarians was aimed at defaming the public representatives.
The CM said he was sure that the decision of the apex court on a presidential reference seeking open ballot would be “according to the constitutional guidance”.
“Our all 12 candidates are purely party workers and have a long track record of loyalty with the party,” he said, adding that candidate Sadiq Memon had filed his nomination paper a day before and remaining 11 candidates nominated by the party for general, technocrat and women categories filed their nomination papers on Saturday.
Replying to a question about the success of PPP candidates, he said that all the candidates of his party would emerge successful in the poll.
About seeking support from other opposition parties for the Senate election, the chief minister said that it was the strategy of the party and he would not disclose it but “I am telling you we would get our senators elected”.
Responding to a question about wheat shortage, the chief minister said that he was surprised that the federal cabinet had blamed the Sindh government for hoarding wheat. “Why will we hoard it?” he asked and added that it’s their failure to ensure procurement of wheat in Punjab.
Shah said that he was surprised that the PTI government had forgotten the statement of their own minister Fakhar Imam on the floor of the National Assembly that 6.6 million tonnes of wheat harvested in Punjab had “disappeared”.
“It did not disappear but was smuggled and it needed to be investigated,” he said, adding that the federal government was pressing the Sindh government to release wheat in May, which was not an established practice.
“The wheat crop is harvested in Sindh in March and April. Therefore, it remains available in the market in great quantity,” he said, adding that from November the wheat stocks started running out and the provincial government intervened and started releasing wheat to stabilise prices.
The CM brushed aside an impression that his government was allowing resettlement of Kashmiris in Sujawal.