Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Thursday requested the Election Commission (ECP) to allot ‘lota’ as a symbol to the PML-N and PPP candidates, as they were jointly contesting the upcoming by-elections on 20 vacant seats in Punjab. In a letter to the Commission, Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan was going through a “multi-dimensional crisis due to a foreign conspiracy”. He said the parties that formed the coalition government at the Centre fought the 2018 polls as rivals and were ideologically different. “This alliance started with the no-confidence motion presented against the PTI government on March 8, 2022 when history’s worst horse-trading took place at the Sindh House,” said Fawad. He added that his party back then had asked the ECP to take notice of the matter. Fawad further said that “selling of conscience, horse-trading and floor crossing” that began at the National Assembly eventually reached Punjab, adding that in the Punjab Assembly, 20 lawmakers came forward who had gone against the law and Constitution and surrendered their conscience to wealth. “As a result, the ECP declared their seats vacant and ordered by-polls in the constituencies,” said Fawad, adding that the PPP, PML-N and other parties that promoted horse-trading announced forming an electoral alliance for the by-polls via a press conference on June 22. “Therefore, all these parties should be given a uniform electoral symbol and not separate ones. In such a situation, it is our opinion that they should be given lota as a symbol,” said Fawad. He added that the PTI believes that the allotment of the symbol would help the public determine who to vote for and also claimed that it would have a positive impact on voter turnout as well. The PTI wrote the letter after PPP, a day earlier, announced that the party would support PML-N’s candidates who will take part in the upcoming by-elections on the 20 vacant seats of the Punjab Assembly. The seats had fallen vacant after the ECP had unseated PTI’s dissident lawmakers for voting against party policy. The polling will take place on July 17, as per the ECP schedule that was issued on May 26.