Manzoor Wattoo to contest polls as ‘independent’ | Pakistan Today

Manzoor Wattoo to contest polls as ‘independent’

LAHORE: Aiming to secure a seat of the National Assembly, Manzoor Wattoo will not be contesting the forthcoming polls under the flag of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Today has learnt.

The senior politician’s critics have doubts about him as he has always changed his loyalties and joined the ruling political party after every general elections, but this time Wattoo is contesting as an independent candidate from his consistency.

While talking to Pakistan Today, neither did he deny nor did he admit the speculation that he had no more alliance with the PPP or if he would join the party after general elections. But sources told Pakistan Today that Wattoo himself proposed the decision of contesting as an independent candidate to PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari right after analysing the weakened position of PPP in the Okara district and its humiliating defeat in Punjab in the general elections of 2013.

Sources further told that ex-federal minister Manzoor Wattoo’s daughter, Jahanara Wattoo submitted an application to Zardari seeking a ticket on the reserved seats of both National and Provincial Assemblies.

Manzoor Wattoo has remained active in local, provincial and national politics since the 1980s. At one time, he was considered very close to former premier Nawaz Sharif. However later, he parted ways with him. He is the only speaker who has won three consecutive terms.

In 1993, he also became the chief minister of Punjab. In 2008, he joined the PPP and became a federal minister. He became a confidant of Zardari and surprised many by becoming the PPP central Punjab President later.

However, along with all other factors, PPP’s misrule weakened Manzoor Wattoo’s position in the last general elections and that is probably why he has made this move.

While local leaders are not much of his supporters and say “he does not share power and sticks to nepotism” one cannot underrate Wattoo in his constituency, for he is an experienced politician who can always surprise the people.

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