BANNU: Nonagenarian rival of Imran Khan, 97-year-old Hazrat Bibi, who had submitted nomination papers to contest coming general elections from NA-35 Bannu against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, lost the electoral battle even before a ballot owing to financial constraints.
Two days back the elderly woman reached the relevant returning officer of the Election Commission of Pakistan and filed the papers for NA-35 constituency in Bannu, one of several constituencies where PTI chief Imran Khan is contesting the polls from.
But she now stands ineligible to contest the polls for being unable to arrange for and pay election fee to fight the July 25 elections.
Financially hard-pressed Hazrat Bibi, who hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mumbati Barakzai area, expressed disappointment at being left out of the electoral arena.
She laments she couldn’t pay security fee within a stipulated time. In the past, she adds, a candidate aspiring to run for a NA seat would pay three thousand rupees, but now the fee has been increased to Rs30,000.
Whereas, security fee for a provincial assembly seat stands at Rs 20,000 as against Rs 2,000.
She said that that was the reason the poor cannot take part in elections.
The senior citizen, who also filed nomination papers for PK-89, has dared to contest against political heavy weights five times in the past.
The woman, a peasant by profession, seemed quite enthusiastic about contesting polls and announced in front of reporters after submission of the papers that she will go door-to-door to enlist support despite having limited resources.
The 97-year-old woman has once won a UC-level election during local body polls in the past.—NNI