LAHORE - Contrary to the common opinion that development work is vital to gain victory in elections, President Asif Ali Zardari, however, does not subscribe to the view.
Party sources told this scribe that President Zardari is fairly confident that only those candidates would win through in the end that had been closely associated with their electorate especially during the moments of their pleasure and grief.
“How much time did you spend in your constituency in the last five years?”, Zardari reportedly asked a prospective candidate who had complained about lack of development work in his area. “Go to your constituencies and spend time with the people. This would help you win the election,” the party co-chairman scolded another candidate.
A PPP leader, who wished not be named, expressed alarm over the fact that party’s election strategy has been reckoned without taking into account the jiyala factor. The president thinks that displeased jiyalas won’t cause much dent to the party in the upcoming polls, he further told. “The election is not contested; it is manoeuvred and bought,” Zardari once told his confidants in a meeting at the Presidency.
President’s views on getting victory in elections are hard to fathom for the disgruntled party men who would now be out canvassing for the PPP for another term of five years with nothing significant to offer to their electorate.
The candidates fear that people might reject them in the coming polls because of persistent loadshedding of gas and electricity.
They also have complaints about lack of development work in their constituencies; because, they think, the meagre amounts released by the federal government could not match those of the Punjab government. Another PPP leader told this scribe that candidates are being asked to reach out the people and tell them about party’s achievements in respect of revival of 1973 Constitution, agreement on NFC award and the recently concluded pact with Iran on gas pipeline.
“Constitutional reforms, gas pipeline and other such achievements have no meaning for the inflation-hit common man who is really finding it hard to make ends meet in an atmosphere of worst loadshedding,” he remarked.
As per sources, the president, who has a constituency-wise data of the influential political families in each constituency, is also relying much on the expected support from some biradaris. “He has assigned the task of winning over such families to different partymen who are working on them day and night, but no visible success so far,” they said.