Monday, August 6, 2012

Activists, Kalsaria join hands to float new party

A day after former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, MJP chief Gordhan Zadaphia and others announced to form a ‘third front’, a group of politicians and activists, including BJP rebel Dr Kanu Kalsaria, Swami Agnivesh and Sanat Mehta, decided to float their own party.
The leaders assembled here on Saturday under the umbrella of Gujarat Lok Manch and discussed launching a new party “as an alternative to the BJP and the Congress”.
They said the proposed party — which is expected to field 25 candidates in the upcoming Assembly elections — would focus on issues like corruption, communalism and matters affecting those involved in primary occupations such as farming, pastoralism and fishing.
“The party’s formation is at an early stage, but finalising the agenda is simple. There are issues of farmers, pastoralists and those living in coastal areas. The government is giving away the land of these communities to industries instead of developing it for them,” Dr Kalsaria told The Indian Express on Sunday.
“Pandit Deendayal said ‘Har khet ko paani, aur har haath ko kam’ (Water in every field, job in every hand). But our Chief Minister has forgotten this mantra. Therefore, we have to save these communities because they are not like industrialists, who have the power to save themselves,” he added.
Besides Dr Kalsaria, Agnivesh and Mehta, the meeting was attended by a dozen-odd activists, including Hasmukh Patel and Lalji Desai.
“We discussed forming the party, agendas, selecting candidates, mobilising people and financial issues,” said Desai, who coordinated the meeting.
“We have been mulling the formation of such party since 2002 after the riots. The party will be neither communal nor corrupt like the BJP or Congress. Although it (the idea) is at a preliminary stage, we are likely to come up with this party by the time elections arrive,” Desai said.
Social activist Agnivesh said, “This is a good idea. I went to bless this idea. Keshubhai’s third front stands rejected by us because the people involved (in it) are simply splinters from the communal BJP.”