ISLAMABAD - Whatever the reasons may be behind the going into hibernation of the top leadership of Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) but this indifference to the party's election campaign, especially in central and upper Punjab areas, would cost their candidates dearly.

Interaction with PPPP candidates and information gathered from the sources in the party it seemed as if the party leadership has conceded its defeat in central and upper Punjab districts from where they had won sizeable seats in 2008 elections.

Although the PPP candidates contesting on national and provincial assembly seats from Rawalpindi district are confident about their victory in May 11 elections and sounded confident about their election campaigns in their respective constituency, yet they do admit that absence of the top leadership to manage the party's election campaign at national level would definitely have adverse impacts on the overall performance of candidates in their respective constituencies.

Sources in PPP informed TheNation that ostensibly the party leadership had not organised big public rallies like Imran Khan and Mian Nawaz Sharif due to the open threats of attacks coming to the party from TTP but there are other reasons too including the sharp differences between PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with his aunty and father on certain issues including distribution of party tickets for May 11 elections could not be resolved.

Similarly, those who were made in-charge of election campaigns in southern, central and upper Punjab were compelled to stay back in their home constituencies due to the depleting public support for the party for its poor performance during the past five years rule.

Former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was made in-charge of party's election campaign for southern Punjab districts but he could not move out form Multan where his both sons are facing tough competition from their opponent and one of his son's position is quite weak against PTI central leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Similarly, the PPPP's campaign in-charge in central Punjab Mian Manzoor Wattoo is holed up in his home constituency where the PML-N and PTI candidates are giving him tough time and he could not afford to move out to campaign for other PPPP candidates even in the nearby districts of his home district of Okara.

Raja Pervez Ashraf, another former premier of Pakistan People's Party, was initially disqualified to contest elections from his home constituency Gujar Khan and just a day before the display of final list of candidates he managed to secure permission from Lahore High Court to contest elections. In these circumstances it would become extremely difficult for him to run the election campaign for the party candidates when his own position in his home constituency is vulnerable and political analysts considered it a cliffhanger between him and PML-N candidate from Gujar Khan.

Sources in the PPP said that in the given situation the party is focused on Sindh and south Punjab districts and trying to keep their seats intact their stronghold. While anticipating their weak position in central and upper Punjab districts the party leadership has left the arena open, with the expectation that PTI would cause massive damage to PML-N in one-on-one contest in these areas, conventionally considered as the stronghold of Mian Nawaz Sharif. These sources said that the expected damage to the PML-N in central and upper Punjab would benefit the PPPP as in case the main players would come with split and fragmented mandate would increase their bargaining position. And even if the PPP would fail to come into power then they would have to face a relatively weaker coalition government led PML-N.