Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) lost its stronghold in Lodhran after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate won the NA-154 by-election in that area.

According to the unofficial reports, PML-N’s Iqbal Shah managed to beat PTI’s Ali Tareen by attaining a margin on 27,609 votes. Shah got 113,542 votes while his competitor Tareen attained 85,933 votes, contesting on his father’s seat.

The Lodhran seat fell vacant in December 2017, when the Supreme Court disqualified Jahangir Tareen. Tareen was found guilty of insider trading and the court ruled that he cannot be termed honest as per Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution. Furthermore, he did not even declare his offshore company.

Lodhran was considered a stronghold of PTI as the Tareens had a good backing there. In the previous 2015 by-elections, PTI had won the seat with a margin of around 40,000 votes. Before the voting started today, Jahangir Tareen talked to reporters saying that he would accept the election results as there was no chance of rigging due to the deployment of army personnel.

Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the party on its victory in the constituency and added that the people have proven that they support PML-N’s policies leadership.

Daughter of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, posted on social media that conspiracies against her father have been turned into his strength by God.

She added that if the people’s decision, when disrespected, becomes even stronger. “If their prime minister is removed, they too take notice,” said Maryam on Twitter.

Meanwhile PTI Chief Imran has accepted his party’s defeat and vows to come back stronger in the upcoming elections.

“Successful people, institutions & nations learn from their failures. The 2018 election is ours, InshaAllah” he said in social media posts.