Abbas Siddiqui, an influential cleric of Furfura Sharif Dargah in West Bengal's Hooghly district, on Thursday floated a new political outfit — Indian Secular Front (ISF) — ahead of the upcoming assembly polls. The pirzada said that the newly launched outfit might contest state elections from all 294 Assembly seats.
"We have formed this party to ensure that constitutional democracy is protected, everybody gets social justice and all of us live with dignity," Siddiqui, the head of the prominent Sufi mazar, said at the launch of his political outfit at Kolkata Press Club. In the days ahead, we would organise several programmes to reach out to the masses, he said.
Asked if his move to float a new outfit and contest the polls would lead to a split in minority votes — a factor that might be disadvantageous for the TMC — Siddiqui said that it was not his job to worry about the ruling party's election prospects. To a question about the possibility of forging an alliance with the TMC, he said,"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." Elections to the 294-member Bengal Assembly are likely to be held in April-May.