LAHORE: Predicting a thumping victory for the PPP in the Punjab in the next general elections, President Asif Zardari has said the Sharifs are immigrants (Mohajirs) and the glory they are enjoying now is just because of him.
"The glory the Sharifs are enjoying is because of me only, and I can snatch it from them whenever I want," said President Zardari while addressing a meeting of the PPP ticket-holders and other party members from Lahore.
Responding to the ongoing tirade against him, particularly that of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Zardari poured out his heart to Jiyalas, saying that the Sharif brothers couldn't even gather enough people to offer the funeral prayers (Namaz-e-Janaza) of their father and they had to go to the Data Darbar Complex for the purpose.
The president and PPP Co-chairman vowed to snatch the Punjab from the Sharifs in the next polls and said it would be the PPP which would form the next government in the province. He also said that Lahore, the birthplace of the PPP, was the city of Jiyalas and Sharifs were Mohajirs (immigrants) in reality.
Sources said some of the PPP Jiyalas, on the occasion, also raised objections to the cold attitude of the ruling cadre of the party, including Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who, according to them, was paying no attention towards them and had shown no concern to address their problems despite visiting Lahore at the weekends.
Moreover, some of the PPP members from Lahore also made complaints that there wasn't anybody who could maintain a proper coordination between workers and the leadership, which was gradually widening the worker-leader gap.
The president, responding to the complaints of party workers, stated that the government would come up with a people-friendly budget and relief would be given to them. President Zardari also announced that with the cooperation of Sindh government, 1,000 rickshaws would be distributed among the party workers in Lahore to ensure employment for them.
He also said the PPP assumed power at a very critical juncture in 2008, but despite the challenges, the PPP government had delivered by restoring the Constitution, and transferring power to parliament.
Zardari also said that the PPP had established the politicsstrengthening of democracy and the federation. Interestingly, after slamming the rivals vehemently, the PPP co-chairman once again laid stress on significance of national reconciliation and vowed that the PPP would continue to follow it in the future as well.
Sources said apart from Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, some of the PPP leaders also came under criticism from the angry Jiyalas for ignoring them during the past four years. Nevertheless, PPP Secretary General Senator Jahangir Badr, who has been under immense criticism by the party workers for multiple reasons, remained lucky and no complaint was raised against him this time, quite contrary to the situation he had been facing for the last two months when in different meetings, chaired by central party leader Ms Faryal Talpur, many party loyalists criticised him for not paying any attention to strengthening the party in Lahore.
Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, MNA Fauzia Wahab, PPP Punjab (Central) President Imtiaz Warraich, Evacuee Trust Property Board Chairman Syed Asif Hashmi, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Chairman Mian Misbahur Rehman, Coordinator for Punjab Naveed Chaudhry, PPP Lahore President Samina Khalid Ghurki, Rukhsana Bangash, Secretary General Senator Jahangir Badr, Afnan Butt, Abid Siddiqi, Zahid Zulfiqar and others attended the meeting.