PPP’s dilemma

REELING from exodus of ‘electables’ and senior members from its ranks, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) found itself really in a quandary over finding suitable candidates to field from Punjab. Though the party finally announced its tickets for Punjab on Wednesday but it was surprising to see that senior leaders such as Manzoor Wattoo refused to contest the election on PPP ticket, clearly indicating that the Party has lost its ground in the important province and that is why some senior leaders are denying contesting election on its ticket.
Though the party still has in its ranks senior leaders such as Qamar Zaman Kaira, Makhdoom Faisal Hayat, Samina Khalid Ghurki and Gilanis from South Punjab but given the performance of the Party in the last general election and subsequent by-polls, these leaders barring a few will really have to campaign extraordinary hard against the heavy weights of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the PML (N), if they really want to make an impact and secure some seats. Senior analysts are also forecasting that the major contest in Punjab will only be between the PTI and the PML (N) with PPP standing even below Tehreek-e-Labaik. Then recent developments in Sindh province such as the emergence of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and joining of hands by two factions of MQM, it will not be free ride for the PPP in its stronghold province. Senior leaders such as Fehmida and Zulfiqar Mirza besides who could not secure the PPP tickets in the province are joining the GDA. Then most recently it has also been seen that the people in Sindh are also confronting the senior members of the party for failing to deliver despite staying in power for the last ten years. In this backdrop, it will not be an easy sailing for the PPP in the upcoming poll. The top leadership indeed needs to do retrospection as to what brought the Party to the current state which once rightly claimed to be the federation’s party as it had representation in all the four provinces. Given the charisma and the mass appeal of the Bhuttos, PPP Chairman Bilawal Zardari can infuse new life into the Party provided he is given free hand in the decision and policy making. Stalwarts like Raza Rabbani and Aitzaz Ahsan and other senior leaders indeed have the ability and their support can help the Party once again stand on its feet.

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