About three thousand people, mostly from rural areas of South Kashmir, on Wednesday attended the maiden rally of the J&K People’s United Front (PUF), which has been floated by seven mainstream political parties that want to steer clear of the ruling National Conference-Congress coalition as well as the principal Opposition outfits — the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the Samajwadi Party and the Lok Jana Shakti, besides three regional parties — independent MLA Hakeem Mohammad Yasin’s Peoples Democratic Front, the former Lok Sabha member Abdul Rashid Kabli’s J&K National Democratic Front and the International Democratic Party — are the key constituents of the PUF.
CPI(M) State secretary and MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, the PUF’s convener, sought to make it clear to the gathering that the new front was not formed with an eye on power.
“People of this State are confronted with many grave issues including corruption, misgovernance, political unrest, poor development, unemployment,” Mr. Tarigami said. “We won’t claim to have a magic wand that will change this scenario in a jiffy, but we will seek people’s support for alternative policies that can bring some change.”
JKNDF’s Mr. Kabli, PDF’s Mr. Yasin, SP’s Sheikh Abdur Rehman, CPI’s Abdur Rehman Tukroo, LJS’s Sanjay Saraf and IDP’s I.D. Khajuria also addressed the congregation. They attacked both the Congress and the BJP, claiming that while one was “neck-deep in corruption,” the other was “surviving on communal frenzy.”