Former IAS officer Shah Faesal to launch political party

Shah Faesal

Shah Faesal  

Former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shah Faesal has decided to float a new political party, the J&K Peoples’ Movement (JKPM), that is likely to field candidates in the Lok Sabha polls, posing a challenge to the State’s regional parties.

The launch of the party on Sunday “will be a new beginning”, Mr. Faesal told The Hindu.

Mr. Faesal, a topper in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination in 2010, had turned down an offer for a ticket from the National Conference (NC) to contest the Lok Sabha elections from north Kashmir’s Baramulla, a person close to the former civil servant said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had also offered to back him for a seat either from Srinagar or south Kashmir’s Anantnag.

Buoyed by support among the State’s youth, especially on social media platforms, Mr. Faesal had succeeded in roping in many popular faces in the Valley. Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students’ Union vice president Shehla Rashid Shora is likely to join the party on Sunday at the football ground located in Srinagar’s Rajbagh area.

Mr. Faesal was also in touch with a retired judge and a former legislator, besides many known civil society activists from the Valley, as part of his efforts to strengthen his fledgling party, the person said.

The new party is likely to field candidates for some of the State’s Lok Sabha seats, a major test of Mr. Faesal’s popularity ahead of the Assembly polls. The party was, however, yet to take a final decision on the seats it wants to contest in the Lok Sabha elections, starting April 11.

Leaders of both the NC and the PDP, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that Mr. Faesal’s party “will eat into our constituencies in the polls”, especially in seats where a separatists-backed boycott plays an important role.

Citing NC vice president Omar Abdullah, a party leader, who did not wish to be identified, said the NC was very clear that “if Mr. Faesal fields candidates our party will work hard to defeat him”.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 7:54:54 PM |

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