PPP Fighting for Survival in Gujrat

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Gujrat is considered an important district when it comes to the politics of central Punjab. During the 90s, the contest was simple, PPP vs. PML-N. After General Pervez Musharraf overthrew PML-N government, and subsequent alliance of Chuadris of Gujrat with then army chief,the politics of Gujrat has changed dramatically. Chudhris of Gujrat were an important component of politics of Punjab in general, and politics of Gujrat specifically while being part of PML-N. PML-N suffered a major blow in Gujrat after they left the party.

The district politics went through another jolt when PPP made an alliance with its archenemies—the Chaudriss of Gujrat. This turned politics of Gujrat upside down. Both sides, PPP and PML-Q, might have benefited from this alliance nationally, but this can hardly be said about Gujrat, and especially when it comes to PPP in Gujrat. This alliance has caused substantial damage to PPP in Gujrat.

Gujrat was considered a bellwether district during the 90s.It has four national assembly and eight provincial assembly seats. During the three elections in the 90s, every time PPP came into power, it won all four national assembly seats in Gujrat; similarly PML-N won all four national assembly seats when it came into power.

In NA 104, Nawazada Ghazanfar Gul used to be PPP candidate; he won the NA seat for PPP in 1993. His opponent has always been from the Chaudhry Shujat Hussain family. The 2013 election is bringing dramatic changes into this constituency.  PPP does not have any candidate from this constituency—first time since 1988—after a deal with PML-Q. Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gul is running as an independent candidate.Nawabzada Mazhar Ali—brother of Ghazanfar Gul—is running on PML-N ticket. Moreover, Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gul’s son is running on PML-N ticket from the Punjab assembly seat. It is safe to say that PPP leadership in NA-104 has switched to PML-N. It is yet to be seen whether Ghazanfar Gul will go ahead and run as an independent candidate or withdraw in favor of his brother. If both brothers run, they will have slim chances of beating their opponents.

There is similar situation in NA 105, where Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar is PPP candidate against Chuadry Pervez Elahi of PML-Q, despite both parties having a formal alliance. PPP is disintegration in NA 105 as well. Ahmed Mukhtar’s brother is actively campaigning for PML-N candidate, and there are rumors that Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar might withdraw in favor of PML-N candidate. Even if he does not, it will be hard for PPP to be successful here.

The only winnable candidate for PPP is in Gujrat is from NA106, Qamar Zaman Kaira. PML-Q does not have a strong presence in this constituency, therefore no problem arose from alliance between PPP and PML-Q. PML-Q is actively supporting Qmar Zaman Kaira in NA 106.

In NA 107, PPP is supporting PML-Q candidate Rehman Naseer Marala, and is not going to contest.

PPP is running on two national assembly seats, and has chance of winning only one. The situation in NA 105 is still developing, if Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar withdraws, Qamar Zaman kaira could very well end up being the only PPP candidate from the district.

There is no doubt that PML-Q has tremendously benefited from alliance with PPP; once could argue that PPP has benefited from this alliance as well, however in the long-run this alliance has proven to be disastrous for PPP in Gujrat district. PPP has gone from once powerful party to being close to extinction in the distric

About Umar Tosheeb

I have BA in History and Political Science. Planning on going to graduate school. After doing metric from Pakistan, I came to USA. Originally from Gujrat Pakistan. I have interest in Pakistani history, politics and languages.

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