Wattoo may be PPP's new president in Punjab
13 October, 2012
LAHORE: The leadership of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has decided to appoint federal minister Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo as party's new president in Punjab, replacing Imtiaz Safdar Warraich.
Sources in PPP told our sources that the party leadership has also decided to appoint Rana Farooq Saeed Khan, an MNA from Faisalabad, as PPP Punjab's general secretary.
Reshuffle in party position at lower level in the province is also in the offing as new leadership will make their own team, said sources.
The decision was taken in view of the current political situation in the pre-poll Punjab, where politicians and influential political groups and families were changing loyalties, they said.
Sources said that the leadership was not satisfied with Warraich's role to strengthen the party in the province.
"Party workers have complained to Faryal Talpur against Warraich that he is not accessible to them. Workers say that Warraich is not a public figure. Mostly he keeps his phone off or does not respond," they said.
"The PPP leadership cannot just bank on Warraich, Raja Riaz and Governor Latif Khosa, because it thinks they are not politically as smart as Wattoo to make gains for the party," said sources.
Despite Wattoo is not seen participating in the cross fire of TV talk shows and defending PPP government's policies and the president, he enjoys President Zardari's trust more than anyone else in Punjab, said the sources.
President Zardari has given Wattoo a free hand to get the support of political families in the central and southern Punjab, court politicians who had contested or won the previous election as independent candidates, and pacify the disgruntled elements in the party, they said.
A PPP leader from Okara called it a good decision to strengthen the party in the province.
"There is least role of ideology in the politics of PPP now. The politics of alliances to reach the corridors of power is in practice now and Wattoo is an expert in it," he said.
Wattoo, who has been part of the country's political landscape for well over 30 years, joined the PPP in 2008. Though he is not one of the hawks in the PPP, he is the only man in the PPP Punjab after Salman Taseer, the Sharif brothers may feel more threatened.
"The PPP leadership thinks that Wattoo can counter the PML-N better than anyone else in Punjab as he did in the 90s," said a party insider. Wattoo, an astute politician, secured the office of the chief minister of Punjab in 1993 after a vote of no confidence against PML-N chief minister Ghulam Haider Wyne.