KARACHI - The Pakistan People’s Party will clean sweep the upcoming polls from Karachi as the party had served the masses.

This was the claim made by the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari before the general elections in 2018, who not only lost from the NA-246 Lyari but party was wiped out from its decades old bastion in the city-Lyari- that had even voted for them in the era of dictatorial regimes and for the top dynasty leaders of PPP including Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari.

Bilawal was defeated by a former local PPP leader and PTI candidate Ali Shad and the PPP chairman was not even the runner-up in the race and remained on third position after the TLP candidate.

Similar and repeated claims were made by the PPP Karachi division President Saeed Ghani in his every media talk before the polls, who said that PPP was the only party that would be benefitted from the split mandate of the MQM-P in the polls.

The results that came out after the polling day were not only astonishing for the PPP after the polls but also for the other political parties in the city who were claiming victory from the city.

Although the overall performance of the PPP as compared to the past general election in the city during 2013 were encouraging but the lost from the party strongholds of Malir and Lyari and specially on the seat of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari caused ruptures within the party and the PPP Karachi Division President, Ghani, submitted his resignation to the chairman after the loss. It was however not accepted but the party instead plans to overhaul the party structure in the city to further improve results in LB polls, likely to be held in 2019-20. 

According to the official results, the party candidates on 21 national assembly seats took 370,022 votes in 2018 polls as compared to 296,807 votes on 20 national assembly seats in 2013, taking more than 70,000 votes from the city from past polls. The PPP even remained on third or fourth positions in various constituencies of the city in which during the past polls it even did not received over 4,000 votes. The party took five provincial assembly seats and a single national assembly seat-that included one national and two provincial seats from Lyari area - from the city in 2013 polls.

However, in 2018, the party despite losing from its bastions in Lyari- losing both national and provincial assembly seats- and Malir, took three national assembly and six provincial assembly seats from the city.

The PPP candidates who won from Karachi included two NA seats from Malir district-won by Jam Abdul Karim Bijar from NA-236 and Syed Rafiullah from NA-238- and third one of NA-248 by former Karachi Division President Qadir Patel.

The party succeeded in acquiring four provincial seats from Malir along with also retaining the former seat of its incumbent Karachi President Saeed Ghani from Manzoor Colony area (PS-104). The party also succeeded in acquiring seat from district west where its district chairman Liaquat Askani won from PS-112. The PPP also remained runner up on two national assembly seats including NA-237 Malir and NA-242.

In NA-237 the PPP candidate Abdul Hakeem Baloch was just around 2000 votes behind the winner PTI candidate who bagged 33289 votes. In NA-242, the party candidate Iqbal Sandh who is also PPP‘s district East President- bagged 11823 votes, less than 15,000 votes from winning PTI candidate Saif ur Rehman Mehsud. PPP former Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that they were not defeated instead the results were managed to defeat them in Lyari.

“We have already rejected the controversial results which were handed over to us after almost two or three days especially in case of constituencies contested by Bilawal Bhutto,” he said. He said that the PPP had served the masses and would continue to do so in Karachi. “Bilawal Bhutto would announce uplift projects for the city after the party resumes power in the province,” said the former minister.

He said that despite of losing from the port city they had acquired more votes from the past. “The thousands of ballot papers-stamped with PPPP symbol- from the constituencies where PPP candidates lost with close margin is a clear evidence of meddling in the polls,” he said.