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Old guns boot to fire from political base

Mumbai-based ex-servicemen have floated a political party to battle these enemies, called the War Veteran Party of India (WVPI), reports Soubhik Mitra.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2007 23:00 IST

War veterans have a new list of enemies — corruption, unemployment and civic apathies.

Mumbai-based ex-servicemen have floated a political party to battle these enemies, called the War Veteran Party of India (WVPI), which was launched in the city on Tuesday.

And, if the party members are to be believed, we will see the old guns fire in the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

The nationally registered party has a massive number base of 25 lakh retired defence personnel from army, navy, air force, paramilitary forces and policemen from all over the country. Most party members are from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

“Corruption, poverty and civic apathies will be our initial targets,” said retired Indian Navy Officer, Commodore B.B. Mistry, who is also the vice president of the party.

The Mumbai-based party has been registered with the Central Election Commission and also with the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra state election commissions. Mahendra Parbhuvan, assistant commissioner, State Election Commission, said: “The party can, however, only contest municipal elections.”

“We had planned to begin with the recently held civic polls in the state, but it did not work out. Hopefully, we will be in action from the UP elections,” added Mistry.

The members are now planning to go on a nationwide induction drive. “We will tour the entire country to enroll members. We have set ourselves a timeline of five years, within which I am sure we would be a force to reckon with,” said a party member.

Also, the party is open to lawyers, social activists and retired officials of the law enforcement machinery. “WVPI is a platform for all upright citizens of India who have been fighting independent battles for a progressive nation. Our initiative is to bring them under one umbrella,” said Mistry.

However, the party is weak on finance. “The ex-servicemen have floated the party from their savings. We know that finance is our weakness considering the money-driven politics these days, but at the moment we are focusing on gathering more and more likeminded people,” said a party office bearer.