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LAHORE: The PPP plans to hire a helicopter for one week for Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s electioneering in Punjab.

The party has yet to finalise its nominees for Punjab, the largest federating unit of the country, though it has announced candidates in other three provinces.

A PPP Punjab chapter leader told Dawn on Friday that as time for electioneering is short this time, the party had decided to hire the helicopter for the chairman’s province-wide tour. The Punjab chapter has ensured eight-day availability of the chairman and the provincial leadership is working out a hectic schedule of public meetings accordingly, he said.

He said Mr Bilawal tour would start from Rahim Yar Khan and culminate in Lahore. At least three rallies will be held every day.

According to him, candidates and workers from three to four adjacent constituencies will be invited to a public meeting as the paucity of time makes it impossible for the chairman to visit every constituency.

The party has yet to select its candidates for the province and it has been left with only five days to do the job as the nominees are to file their tickets to the Election Commission of Pakistan by June 28.

Senior PPP leader Abdul Qadir Shaheen says the party has finalised 90 per cent of the candidates. The announcement of candidates, he says, is being delayed to see selection of other parties, particularly the PML-N, so that adjustments could be made accordingly.

He said a hasty decision may give an opportunity to the people to disturb the PPP vote-bank who contest elections at all costs whether they are granted ticket by one party or not. The situation becomes critical in such constituencies where the party has equal chances of winning or losing the polls and there one needs to properly handle and accommodate these “trouble-makers”.

Mr Shaheen, who is also PPP’s manifesto committee member, says the manifesto is being given final touches these days and will be unveiled by the chairman in Karachi on June 27.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2018