RAWALPINDI: As the PPP eyes revival in Rawalpindi, a large number of supporters thronged the Liaquat Bagh on Sunday to attend a political gathering organised by the political party as a part of its election campaign.
The participants and PPP leaders claimed that the gathering was bigger than the one held by the PML-N on Saturday.
In fact, this public meeting was bigger than the ones organised by the PPP in the 2013 and 2018 elections, they said, adding that still with a little more effort, the rally could have been a “massive power show”.
PPP Rawalpindi spokesperson Nasir Mir said the response to the public gathering was good, but the local chapter could have whipped up support ahead of the public meeting by arranging a few corner meetings in the city to mobilise supporters.
Supporters say gathering at Liaquat Bagh better than 2013, 2018 rallies
He agreed that, unlike in the past, there were no welcome camps on Murree Road to welcome the groups from different union councils, especially rallies from different parts of the district.
Saeed Ahmed alias ‘Papa’ — a ‘jiyala’ from Dhoke Mangtal who was also present at the PPP rally in 2007 in which Benazir Bhutto was slain — said the PPP used to approach the traders, labourers, and other segments of the society ahead of its rallies in the city, but this time the effort was missing.
Raja Riaz, a party worker from Dhoke Ratta, said that the public meeting was good as compared to the meetings in the 2013 and 2018 elections.
‘Better than PML-N’
Speaking about the preparations, PPP candidate for NA-55 Babar Jadoon said that after the ‘flop show’ of the PML-N, the PPP’s local chapter was worried and the party leaders “tried hard to bring maximum people to the ground, which made the jalsa better than the PML-N”.
He said that in the 2013 and 2018 general elections, the PPP could not campaign in the area due to “terrorist attacks on the party”. He said that though the threats were still there, the party tried its best to inform people about the “real and puppet politicians”.
“In the past four years of the PTI and 10 years of the PML-N in Punjab, the problems of the Rawalpindi residents and other parts of the province were not solved; the city does not even have clean water for most people,” he said.
“Just like the 2002 elections (when the party bagged at least seven seats), the PPP will likely bag the maximum number of provincial and national assembly seats from Rawalpindi district,” he said.
Amir Fida Paracha, former president of PPP Rawalpindi, said that the party workers would stage a comeback in the political arena of the city. He believed that a ‘wave of change’ had started in the garrison city which was evident by the number of supporters who attended the PPP rally. He said that the party leadership wanted to bring a maximum number of candidates to the provincial assembly and “it will likely achieve the goal”.
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