ISLAMABAD - Victory of Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani from NA-151 Multan the other day, though with narrow margin, has created an opportunity for his father, the former prime minister, to outmatch political opponents in the general election by exploiting the issue of Seraiki province.
Political sources told TheNation on Friday that result of by-election in NA-151 has set a trend for the next general elections leaving a very little space for the PPP opponents to win many seats from Southern Punjab.
They said despite joint efforts by the PML-N, PTI and JI, the son of the former prime minister has won the election that would give special advantage to the PPP to cash in on the trend during the general elections.
“Former prime minister and PPP senior vice president Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani will soon start tour of the southern Punjab to curry support for Seraiki province,” a senior PPP leader said, adding this would give a special advantage to the party in the general elections.
Sources were of the view that PPP victory in the bye-election in Multan would have far reaching implications as it has set trend for the general elections.
“There is no doubt about it, as PPP despite very challenging situation has won the crucial seat. The same trend is likely to continue in the general elections,” sources said.
They believed that Multan victory has left ample ground to exploit the sentiments of people of southern Punjab struggling for separate province.
On the other hand, main opposition parties which indirectly supported the independent candidate failed to cause political dent to Gilani’s influence in particular and PPP in general, thus giving rise to speculation that they might meet the same fate in the general elections.
Sources in these parties however did not subscribe these notions saying there was no backing to the independent candidate against Qadir Gilani. “The results would have been different, had there been a collective struggle,” sources said, adding that PPP would face very tough situation in the general elections.
“You would see different trend in the general elections when candidates of PPP and its allied parties would be totally cornered,” sources said.
They were of the view that no matter the opposition parties contest general elections individually and by doing seat adjustments, there would be no space left for PPP and its allied parties manoeuvre their electoral victories not only in southern districts of Punjab but all the country.