Bilawal advised to make electoral debut from Lahore

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has been suggested to make his debut in electoral politics by contesting the forthcoming general election from the Punjab capital.

The suggestion was made at a meeting of the party held in Sahiwal where Mr Bhutto had come to address a public meeting the previous week.

“I suggested the party chairman to contest from Lahore for boosting morale of jiyalas in Punjab in general and in the provincial capital in particular,” PPP senior vice president Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo told Dawn here on Wednesday.Mr Wattoo said the proposition was made while discussing the poor performance of the party during the recently held NA-120 by-polls.

“The chairman was reminded that the party had been left leaderless during the general elections in 2008 and 2013 and that’s why it couldn’t perform. And the situation didn’t change in the by-polls when only the provincial leadership was available to campaign for the party candidate.”

Wattoo argued the PPP had been winning from Lahore and Punjab until the central leadership continued to contest from here.

He recalled it swept both the 1970 and 1977 polls by clinching all eight National Assembly seats of Lahore when the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto contested from here. It boycotted the 1985 election and in 1988 won six out of nine seats as the late Benazir Bhutto took part in the polls from a Lahore constituency too. In the 1990, 1993, 1997 and 2002 polls, the PPP’s score shrank to just one seat, for Ms Bhutto did not take part in the elections from Lahore (in 2002 she was in exile).