‘Maa ka vote mera hai’

IQBAL KIRMANI
Sonawari: Brothers Ghulam Hassan and Ghulam Mohammad came to blows when their 85-year-old mother, Rahti, cast her vote at Inderkote on Tuesday. Reason: both wanted her to vote for their party of choice.
Rahti, who lives with Ghulam Mohammad, keeps to her bed most of the time. She was helped to polling station number 73 at Inderkote by her grandson Zahoor Ahmad, son of Ghulam Hassan.
Rahti is barely able to stand on her own. In a low voice, she said, “Ghulam Hassan is handicapped and PDP’s Yasir Reshi has promised to help him if he is elected. The previous government did nothing for us. That is why I voted for PDP.”
But this did not go well with Mohammad, a National Conference supporter. He fumed when he saw her coming out of the polling station, leaning on his nephew’s shoulders.
Mohammad walked out of the queue and grabbed Zahoor by his collar. “How dare you enter my house and bring my mother here. It was I who had to bring her to cast vote,” Mohammad told Zahoor.
This led to a heated exchange of words between the two, with Mohammad accusing Zahoor of taking money for Rahti’s vote.
Hassan meanwhile joined the brawl and tried to hurl a kangri at Mohammad, saying, “She is his grandmother. How dare you stop him?”
“She lives with me and I take care of her,” replied Mohammad.
While the two brothers cursed each other, Zahoor whisked Rahti away from the spot.
Not finding the mother around, both brothers returned to their positions in the queue and waited for their turn to vote.