What are the chances of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) getting back its past glory it once enjoyed in Punjab and Sindh? The result in NA-133 by-polls, where the PPP candidate Aslam Gill secured more than 32,000 votes, has renewed the party leadership’s hopes for more seats in Punjab. In a bid to dispel the perception that the PPP has been losing popularity among the masses, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has announced the launch of a party campaign against inflation with renewed vigour. What are the reasons for the PPP leadership to come out for winning the confidence of the masses as it failed to sustain its popularity as a national political party? First of all, the top leadership of the PPP had alienated itself from the masses. A link was broken between the leadership of the PPP and the general public.
It is an undeniable fact that the PPP came into being as a socialist movement supported by the common man. Second, the PPP’s inability to take credible local leadership into its fold caused it embarrassment in the previous elections. Capable leadership at the grassroots level is necessary for every party to win the people’s trust. Further, the PPP has failed to evolve a policy framework that could help it win the masses’ support. The PPP has stopped propagating its famous slogan – roti, kapra aur makan (bread, clothing and shelter) – that used to be the party’s manifesto. Although it has tried to benefit the masses through its liberal policies, yet this has proved ineffective so far.
Now, it’s ideal time for the PPP and other mainstream opposition parties as the masses are looking for a leader, who could save them from the clutches of inflation and economic crisis. The present leadership of the party must introduce policies that are aimed at the masses’ welfare through strong representation at the grassroots level. The PPP needs to revive its past practice of remaining in contact with the public and adopt a clear agenda that focuses on the country and its citizens’ well being.