Ahead Of JK Polls, A New Political Formation In Offing

20 August 2014
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: With the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir drawing closer, Kashmir is set to witness a 'major political initiative' in the form of a mainstream political body-likely to be named as Peoples United Forum (PUF). Informed sources told Greater Kashmir that the Third Front-type formation would be launched on August 23 (Saturday) with the prime objective to 'fight corruption and nepotism in the State and take people out of despondency.' The leaders from the group, mostly with non-political backgrounds, are, according to sources, enjoying 'full support' of a New Delhi-based political party while a few political pundits are already in touch with them to set the new body rolling. 'I am not part of this new group, but I am guiding it and helping it in formulating a pro-people agenda. All I can say is it is a good civil society initiative,' said a New Delhi-based former journalist, closely associated with the move. He said the group also enjoys support from 'some influential people' of the State. 'The main thrust of the group is to pull out the people of J&K from the state of despondency and confusion,' he said. Sources said the group would make corruption its major plank ahead of the Assembly elections. 'A group of well-meaning people have been working on ground for the past two years. Now they have decided to launch the group with the mission to fight corruption in J&K. It would work for the larger interest of the people of the State,' sources, privy to the move, said. The party has already reportedly roped in some academics, journalists, businessmen and some other civil society members. 'Their names would be announced at the launch ceremony on Saturday,' the sources said. Sources said the new group enjoys full backing of a New Delhi-based party with the larger objective to fight the upcoming elections. 'The group will field its leaders in the forthcoming Assembly elections from segments including those in Srinagar in a bid to make its presence felt,' they said. Dr Farooq Ahmed Dar, a key member of the new group, said it 'comprises of intellectuals and common people.' 'As far as the elections are concerned, we will certainly try our luck,' he said. Another leader of the group said their basic aim is to 'fill the vacuum' in the State. 'There is a deep divide between people and the government which we are going to fill,' he said.