Putting an end to a guessing game about his tiff with his father, Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Tuesday that he would lead the election campaign of his party which will kick-start on April 3 from Naudero House in Larkana.
The PPP was supposed to stage a big public rally in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the ancestral village of the Bhutto family, on the anniversary of the hanging of its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on April 4, 1979.
The rally was, however, called off for security reasons. “We are not organising a big national-level rally this time. Meetings are being held at district level separately,” Naudero House spokesperson Ghulam Mustafa Leghari said.
Speaking to members of PPP’s provincial and federal parliamentary boards via video link from Bilawal House in Karachi, the scion of the Bhutto family directed them to finalise the allotment of party tickets without any delay.
“It is high time party workers and leadership stood up and started preparations for the upcoming election. We want a massive campaign across the country,” he said.
Senior PPP leaders dispelled the rumours that their party would not stage public rallies as part of its election campaign due to security threats.
“At least 20 massive public rallies will be held in different cities and towns, which will be addressed by Bilawal Bhutto,” Qamar Zaman Kaira told The Express Tribune. Bilawal would also address corner meetings of the party during the election campaign.
At Tuesday’s meeting seven committees were formed to monitor the election campaign, with a central committee to be supervised by Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
Punjab has been divided into three parts: former premier Raja Pervaiz Asharf is responsible for upper Punjab, former chief minister Mian Manzoor Wattoo for central Punjab and former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani for south Punjab.
Sindh’s former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah will lead PPP’s election campaign in Sindh, Anwar Saifullah in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sadiq Umrani and Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hasni in Balochistan.
Party Chairperson Bilawal directed Kaira to activate the party’s media cells and start mobilising the media about the PPP election campaign. “Bilawal Bhutto has said election cells be established at provincial and district levels,” said a PPP leader, who attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, a large number of PPP workers belonging to its minority wing protested outside Bilawal House against alleged discrimination in the award of party tickets. They claimed that the party was awarding tickets only to well-off Hindus and neglecting its jiyalas from the Christian and scheduled caste communities.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2013.
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