Projecting themselves as a consolidated political front, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) leader and sitting MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday was accompanied by two independent legislators as he filed his nomination for south Kashmir's Kulgam constituency.
Tangmarg legislator Ghulam Hassan Mir of the Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) and Khansahib legislator Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen of the People's Democratic Front (PDF) - both won as independents last time - showed public support to Tarigami as they accompanied him to the deputy commissioner-district electoral officer's office. The three leaders have called their front the Awami Muttahida Mahaz (AMM).
There is talk of Awami Ittehad Party legislator Engineer Rashid joining this group.
Tarigami is seeking to win the fourth consecutive term since 1996.
After filing his nomination, Tarigami spoke on the region ramifications of the Kashmir issue: "Peace in the south Asia is subservient to cordial relations between India and Pakistan. Both the countries should carry forward a meaningful dialogue for exploring means to resolve bilateral issues, including Kashmir."
Without naming anyone, he also said, "The political set-up is being humiliated by the opportunists and defectors… [This] has eroded faith of the people in democracy and the electoral process." He remarked that tainted bureaucrats "are equally adding to this humiliation to secure their space in the political spectrum".
He lashed out at the BJP-led central government for "it ignored the miseries of the people after the recent flood". "The central government is putting all its energy in power-grabbing in the state by hook or crook, which is vindicated by recent political developments. The BJP-led government has declined from its early stand of declaring the calamity as a national disaster," he added.
The rally was also addressed by Mir and Yaseen.
The leaders said they have agreed to form the alliance on "broader issues" of corruption, misrule, unemployment, human rights violations, and for creating a peaceful atmosphere in the state.