KOLKATA: Abbas Siddiqui, an influential cleric of Furfura Sharif Dargah in West Bengal's Hooghly district, on Thursday, launched the Indian Secular Front (ISF), a new political outfit ahead of the upcoming polls.
"We have formed this party to ensure that constitutional democracy is protected, everybody gets social justice and all of us live with dignity," informed Siddiqui at the launch held at Kolkata Press Club.
As per a parcha released by the new organisation, the party is being formed to counter the "unholy nexus of political and economic elites in the form of caste-based corporate neo-liberal market capitalism" which is eroding the constitutional values of pluralism.
Slamming mainstream political organisation for failing to uphold secularism, the parcha elaborates, "Unfortunately many so-called 'secular' parties have been playing the 'secular-communal' hide and seek game to maintain their hegemony and narrow electoral gains."
"It is our constitutional responsibility to assert that Dalits (SC), Adivasi (ST), OBCs, Muslims are not the captive 'vote bank' of any political party and should not always stand at the receiving end of factional disputes...," it adds.
The peerzada also announced that the party might contest state elections from all 294 Assembly seats. The party intends to conduct several programmes across the state to reach out to the public in the coming days.
Discarding questions on a possible vote split in minority votes due to the new outfit, Siddiqui said that it is not his job to worry about the ruling party's election prospects.
Opening doors for the TMC to forge an alliance with the organisation, Siddiqui retorted on questions of a possible alliance with the TMC, "It is the duty of Mamata Banerjee as the chief minister of the state to take everybody along to stop the march of the BJP, not mine."
West Bengal shall witness elections for its 294-member Assembly in April-May.