LAHORE - The new PPP Central Punjab President, Qamar Zaman Kaira, says he will try to make the PPP the country’s most popular party like it was in 1970s. For this purpose, he said, disgruntled party leaders and workers would be approached with the request that they should return to the party fold and play an active role.

Kaira was talking to reporters at Shahdara before leaving for his native town Lala Musa.

The PPP stands routed in Punjab, the country’s most populous province, and its revival here would need Herculean efforts, especially because of the development works being done by the PML-N under the leadership of Mian Shahbaz Sharif.

A party with no following in Punjab has little scope to return to power at the Centre as the number of NA seats in this province is more than the number of seats of all other provinces put together.

In 1970, the PPP ticket was like a passport to victory. Even unknown PPP candidates had trounced the heavyweights of the rival parties.

The founding day of the party falls on Nov 30 and leaders from all over the country are gathering in the city to celebrate the day under the leadership of its young chairman, Bilawal. The celebrations will continue for about a week. Many colourful events are proposed to be held during the week.

Critical of the performance of the PML-N government, the new PPP central Punjab president alleged that contracts were being awarded to the favourites. The performance of the government, he said, was deceptive, capable of misleading the common man. Calling upon the PML-N leadership to accept the four demands made by the PPP leadership, Kaira warned the rulers would have to face the music in case they failed to do so.

PPP Chairman Bilawal has already threatened to launch a movement against the PML-N government if the demands remained unmet by Dec 27.

Kaira said it was strange that the Punjab farmers were living in miserable conditions while the government claimed to have given a farmers package of Rs 250 billion.

Also, he said, the system of education in Punjab had been given to the private sector. He was also critical of the Ashiana housing, laptop and sasti roti schemes. There were no teachers in many educational institutions and the Punjab government was giving laptops to students, said the PPP leader, clearly implying that the priorities of the chief minister were flawed.

About the silence of the prime minister over Indian aggression on the Line of Control, the PPP leader said it was so because Mian Nawaz Sharif was a friend of Nirendra Modi. However, he made it clear that the PPP supporters would not keep silent.

Former minister Taneer Ashraf Kaira and Zamarrud Khan were also with the new PPP central Punjab president.