On the eve of the much-hyped Senate elections, emergence of leaked video and audio clips and WhatsApp chat on Tuesday sent shock waves through the political arena of the country, putting the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a fix and strengthening the narrative of the ruling PTI about rampant corruption in polls for the Upper House of the Parliament. On Tuesday, a video of former prime minister and joint candidate of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for the coveted Islamabad seat Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son Ali Haider Gilani surfaced in which he is allegedly telling a PTI lawmaker on how to waste a vote. In the video, Ali Gillani can be seen telling the lawmaker the trick to mark the ballot paper on two places. Reports said that the person seen in the video is a Member of National Assembly (MNA) belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Gilani is contesting the Senate elections against PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from Islamabad. His son, Haider Ali Gilani, is an MPA from Punjab. Ali Haider Gilani responded to the allegations by holding a news conference, saying that he had met a lot of people whilst campaigning for the Senate elections. “All the NA members are our constituents,” he said. “All of them are honourable for us,” he said. Ali Haider Gilani lashed out at the prime minister, saying that he had attempted to earn lawmakers’ loyalty by issuing development funds for them. He said that he had met the PTI lawmakers to secure vote for his father, adding that it was his right to do so by law. “Not just once, I will meet them a hundred times as it is my right to do so,” he said. “We have sought the ‘votes by conscience’ in every election. We don’t believe in buying or selling votes or securing them through intimidation,” he added. The former prime minister’s son said he was asking for votes on the basis of ‘love and conscience’ from the PTI MPAs, adding that a lot of them wanted to vote for his father instead of Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. He said the PTI lawmakers told him they wanted to vote for Yousaf Raza Gilani but were worried the PTI leadership would check their votes. “They asked me what to do if their votes were checked,” claimed Gilani. “To which I told them to fold their votes while casting them, which would benefit Yousaf Raza Gilani,” he said, adding that he didn’t know who had recorded the video. Responding to the controversial video, Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the allegations levelled against his son are ‘baseless’, adding that those who leaked the video have no clue who is featured in it. The government immediately cried foul, demanding that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declare Gilani ineligible after the emergence of the video that it said showed “votes being bought”. It also filed a reference with the ECP seeking Gilani’s disqualification. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill, while reacting to the video, said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) must take action of the video. “Yousaf Raza Gilani has no moral justification left to contest the elections. He should immediately withdraw from the elections,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle. Later, during a press conference, Gill said that there cannot be more shameful scenes for any democratic nation than the ones seen in the video. He said that the son of a former prime minister who was disqualified by the Supreme Court could be seen in the video, trying to make a deal. “The video shows how these mafias use their influence to bend the system,” he said, and demanded that the ECP should declare Yousaf Raza Gilani ineligible to contest the Senate elections. Later in the evening, the ECP took notice of the leaked video of Ali Haider Gilani. It said that investigation into the matter will be conducted on merit. In another similar incident, Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah could be purportedly heard in a leaked audio making assurances to the PTI lawmakers. The use of money to buy lawmakers ahead of the Senate elections is on the rise and it could be clearly heard in audio that Ali Haider Gilani was allegedly establishing contact between the PTI lawmakers with Nasir Hussain Shah on the telephone. It further revealed how PPP is allegedly involved in buying votes of the lawmakers. Nasir Hussain Shah could be heard in the audio giving assurance that he was responsible for fulfilling all demands of the ‘brother’ PTI lawmakers. “All lawmakers are solid and hail from a humble family background,” one of the men could be heard in the leaked audio as saying. In yet another attempt to buy lawmakers ahead of Senate elections, a WhatsApp chat has emerged showing how an alleged middle man of a PML-N candidate was trying to buy PTI KP MPA Abdul Salam Afridi. The WhatsApp messages were sent from a man identified as Adil Shah, an alleged middle man of the PTI Senate candidate Abbas Afridi, to a PTI lawmaker from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly Abdul Salam Afridi. “My commission will be 50,” the message from the man could be read without mentioning if it was millions or a percentage as he further sent a message that they had already finalized a deal with two of the lawmakers and transferred the amount to them. Adil Shah further said in the Whatsapp chat that he would get Rs 3 million. “The rate was at 6 yesterday, however, the deal is finalized in 8 with two people,” he said, without mentioning the entire figures. The PTI lawmaker responded to him saying that the situation is quite tense and no one is ready to trust anyone. “This could lead to both of us getting disgraced,” he said. To this, Adil Shah messaged that the PTI lawmaker’s dignity and honour were valuable for him and they would never let it down. Later talking to a private TV channel, PTI MPA Abdul Salam Afridi said that he has already conveyed the matter to the PTI leadership. “The middle man also asked me to meet Abbas Afridi, however I refused to hold a meeting with him,” the lawmaker said.