Senate Elections: Is PPP buying votes?

A leaked audio involving Ali Haider Gilani, son of Senate candidate and former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and Nasir Hussain Shah revealed offers of millions of rupees being made to the PTI lawmakers ahead of the elections for the Upper House of the Parliament.

Ali Haider could be allegedly heard in the audio played during a talk show, Power Play, saying that he had talked to Nasir Shah and the latter is asking to bring down the offer besides assuring that development works would also be carried out in the constituencies as per the wishes of the PTI lawmakers.

“We could carry out uplift projects worth around Rs100 million,” he said adding that they had offered Rs160 million, however, the offer has gone as high as Rs200 million.

Gilani could be further heard in the audio that the rate is similar in FATA, KP and Karachi with an exception of MQM-P, where the rate has gone up.

The son of the Senate candidate could be heard in the audio saying that it would be difficult to carry the money if payments are made in cash as it would attract attention from many people.

Ali Haider Gilani could be heard saying during a telephonic conversation with Nasir Hussain Shah that ‘friends’-PTI lawmakers- were standing alongside him and wanted to talk to the provincial information minister.

“Tell four of them that they would be taken care of,” Shah could be heard as saying as one of the PTI MNA said when Jamil Somroo and Nasir Shah’s name came during the discussion, they decided to talk to him.

One of the MNAs could be heard saying that they trust the minister’s word and would pave way for getting their demands implemented in the future.

Read More: Senate Elections to be held through secret ballots, SC

“We are solid people and are standing alongside the PPP while putting everything at stake,” the PTI lawmaker said as another MNA added that they hail from humble family background and would do whatever is promised.

Votes being sold, reveals PM Khan

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed that a Senate vote is being sold for Rs500 million to Rs700 million in Balochistan. Speaking to media persons in Kallar Syedan, Prime Minister Khan said the ruling PTI can bag more seats than opposition parties if the upcoming Senate elections are held through secret balloting.

“How is this possible that the senator who gets elected by means of money won’t make quick bucks,” he questioned and revealed that he is being offered money for Senate seats and this is not the first time he is being made such offers. “I was contacted directly and indirectly for selling a Senate seat for the sake of money,” he said.

“For 30 years, money is being used in the Senate elections,” the prime minister said, adding selling vote in return of money negates democracy. He further claimed that it was JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who got most monetary benefits from the Senate polls.

He said he expelled 20 MPAs from his party for being involved in horse-trading, two of whom went so far as to file a case against him.

Read More: When did PTI get video of lawmakers receiving bribes before Senate elections 2018?

The prime minister said the PPP and PML-N called for open balloting for the Senate elections in the Charter of Democracy (COD) signed between leaders of the two parties. “Why didn’t they [opposition parties] tried to do away with the practice of the use of money in the Senate elections despite being in power for 30 years,” the premier asked.