Raja Pervaiz Ashraf appointed PPP Central Punjab president
LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday appointed party’s stalwart from Gujar Khan and former premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as the new PPP Central Punjab president.
Additionally, the PPP’s parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza was appointed general secretary of the central Punjab and Shahzad Saeed Cheema as information secretary of the central Punjab.
The previous body of PPP Central Punjab, including former central Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira, general secretary Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmad and information secretary Syed Hassan Murtaza had resigned on May 7, the day after the Khushab by-elections and since then the PPP Central Punjab was working without a body and the PPP chairman had appointed Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as the party’s chief organiser.
The New Team
The PPP chairman had appointed former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as the Central Punjab president to revive the party in Punjab, as the party had almost been wiped out from the province.
Bilawal Bhutto expects the new central Punjab body headed by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to re-organise the party at the grass-roots level, increase interaction with workers, personally visit and meet them, address their grievances and motivate them ahead of the next elections so that the party could cover the lost ground and win back the lost fiefdom.
According to party insiders, Bilawal Bhutto had also tasked the newly-appointed Central Punjab president to meet disgruntled PPP leaders and woo electables from the PML-N and PTI before the next general elections.
“Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had already started meeting disgruntled leaders and influential provincial families from the province,” a party leader added.
Many influential political figures and elecatables are likely to join PPP during the party chairman’s next visit to Lahore, a party insider said.
The PPP chairman had also elevated Syed Hassan Murtaza from information secretary to secretary general Central Punjab.
“Syed Hassan Murtaza is a diehard PPP worker and leader from Rajoya Sadat in Chiniot and has remained with the party through thick and thin,” a senior PPP leader told BOL News.
“When the PPP was completely wiped out from Punjab, he managed to clinch his constituency in 2002, 2008 and 2018 and remained with the party,” a senior party leader added.
Murtaza enjoys good relations with the party workers at the grass-roots level and he could manage to win back the disgruntled party workers and could motivate them for the next general elections, another party leader said.
“Murtaza’s loyalty with the party is unmatchable due to which Bilawal Bhutto elevated him to the secretary general,” a PPP leader from Central Punjab said.
Murtaza is the son of Syed Ghulam Murtaza and was born on April 25, 1967 at Rajoya Sadat, Chiniot. Murtaza graduated in 2002 from the University of the Punjab in Lahore.
He is an agriculturist by profession, who had also served as the Member District Council, Jhang during 1991/92 and as Nazim Union Council, Jhang during 2001/02.
Murtaza served as the member provincial assembly (MPA) Punjab during 2002/07 and returned to the Punjab Assembly for the second consecutive term in the general elections of 2008 and then again for the third term in 2018.
Shahzad Saeed Cheema, the newly-appointed information secretary for Central Punjab is a new face for the party’s leadership role. He is a PPP worker who enjoys good relationships with workers. He is from Chichawatni (Sahiwal) and had managed to win the provincial Assembly seat for the party in 2008.
He had lost the 2018 elections but managed to grab more than 21,000 votes, which is an achievement keeping in mind that PPP is completely wiped out from the province.
“We are really grateful to PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for appointing me as Central Punjab’s information secretary. He is a middle-class worker who belongs to us and is always there for us. It is a great decision by the chairman to appoint a worker at a key position, which is definitely a morale booster for other party workers,” Syed Ali Abbas, a party worker from Sahiwal told BOL News.
Party sources also said although Chairman Bilawal had formed a good body in Punjab but he should still meet the disgruntled leaders and workers of the party.
“It is about time that Bilawal realises mistakes of the past made neglecting Punjab,” party sources added.
The sources also added that Bilawal should also visit small districts of Punjab to motivate workers, which is essential for reviving the party in the province.
“If the PPP continues to ignore the largest province of the country, like it did in 2013 and 2018, the party will lose its vote bank and it could turn out to be a decisive blow to them,” a party insider said. He admitted that PPP was almost wiped out from the province and only held seven provincial assembly seats.
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