The PTI led KPK government finds being blamed of rigging in the local body polls in the province. All the contesting parties including its allies are vociferously condemning the rigging holding the Chief Minister of the province responsible for engineering the results. PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s statement putting all the blame of maladministration during the polls on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has further fuelled the fire. The workers of almost all the contesting parties demonstrated in front Khan’s Bani Gala residence against the excesses of the PTI in these polls.

The accusation of rigging in elections is never a surprise for to the people in the region. Its history dates back to the referendum held in the then North West Frontier Province, which was to decide the fate of the province at the time of partition. It is very unfortunate that almost every election has been made controversial by the contesting parties ever since in Pakistan. The current outbreak of allegations from the political parties as well as the disappointment shown by the ECP while defending its own role is definitely a setback for the PTI which had been portraying itself as a flag bearer of fair and free elections in the country. The ECP and the PTI have been having varying opinions over the schedule of holding these elections for quite some time. The provincial chapter of the ECP opposed the idea of the KPK government of holding the Local Government polls in one go citing security issues. PTI effectively insisted to have these polls on the same day. The violence on election day exposed the weaknesses of the provincial government. The issuance of seven ballot papers for every category of seats is also being criticised by the political stakeholders in the due to the literacy level of the populace. The forced ban on the women voters to cast their vote is another issue which resulted in a low turnout in certain districts, and turned the whole process into a mockery. If nothing less, the liberal and self-righteous façade of the PTI in the urban areas will be scrutinised by the electorate in the rest of the country. The PTI government in KPK will have to come clean out of this controversy otherwise it is certainly going to have a negative impact on the PTI’s image as a liberal democratic party. They have been shouting out, blue in the face, that they are different, uncorrupted, honest, but actions speak louder than words.