LAHORE - The PPP leadership is giving a serious thought to a proposal put forward by senior party men to place a new team of politicians under the young Bilawal who is going to take a centre stage in his party’s struggle to regain its lost control over Punjab.
The matter was discussed at a recent meeting of party’s central executive committee held at Garhi Khudabakhsh on April 3 on the occasion of death anniversary of party founder Z.A Bhutto.
The idea behind this move is to project a positive image of the party by keeping the old ‘cronies’ at bay who tarnished party’s image while they held important positions in the government in the past.
The suggestion came from veteran PPP leader Ch Aitzaz Ahsan who also proposed that party leaders with tainted image should not be made part of the Bilawal’s new team which should comprise mostly of young people coming from educated families. But he (Bilawal) may keep some senior party men of good repute to his side for advice.
An insider told The Nation that party’s defecto chairman Asif Ali Zardari, responded positively to the proposal and asked Aitzaz Ahsan to bring his own children into the party fold to strengthen hands of Bilawal who intends to infuse a new vigour into the party ranks and file.
Sources said that Asif Zardari had also been receiving similar suggestions from other close aides to pump young blood into the party to prepare it for the coming challenges. If accepted, the proposal would be implemented in Punjab first where the party fell from grace in the last elections by coming down to number three position in the Punjab Assembly.
Both the PML-N and the PTI have encroached upon the space vacated by the PPP in the most populous Punjab province which determines which party should rule in the Centre.
Under the new scheme of things, those party men who had been and are associated with the PPP (Parliamentarians) at the moment should have no representation in the new PPP to be led by Bilawal.
There is also an opinion in the party that new team should be an amalgamation of both new and old faces to maintain a balance and to benefit from the experience of the veteran leaders.
Meanwhile, the much anticipated change in party’s Punjab leadership has been deferred in the light of this suggestion. Further discussion on the issue would be made during ensuing meetings of the CEC, according to the sources who were confident that the idea may be put into a practical shape in the coming months.
On the other hand, the proposal to form a new team for Bilawal has put to rest the speculations as to who from amongst the three children of slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto should be leading the party.
Since Bakhtawar, the eldest of all children, seems disinterested in politics like her aunt Sanam Bhutto, Asif Zardari was to make a choice between Bilawal and Aseefa. The latter was also being groomed for a leadership role in the past and rumours were rife that she might be entrusted with the responsibility to lead the party instead of Bilawal who was then stated to be angry with his father on party matters.