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Striving for a cleaner alternative

Youth activists join hands to participate in the political process, for better governance, Swaha Sahoo reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 08, 2009 00:32 IST
Swaha Sahoo

Professionals Party of India (PPI) and Youth For Equality (YFE) are two organisations working to reach out to the dormant voters of India — the youth and the middle class.

PPI, which originated in Pune in 2007, has two candidates fighting for the South Mumbai and North Mumbai Lok Sabha constituencies. In Delhi, the party has just begun working with a small group of 88 members.

“The government has always been good at planning but failed miserably during implementation of policies,” said Sunil Nanda, coordinator, PPI (North).

Nanda, at present the president of Spice Energy, retired from the Navy after 27 years of service two years back.

“In corporate India, if a unit does not perform, the business head is held responsible. We need the same transparency in the government,” said Nanda.

PPI, which has spread to five Indian cities including Bangalore and Ahmedabad, is aiming to emerge as a national alternative to traditional parties.

“We have joined hands with Youth For Equality in Delhi because both the organisations believe in anti-corruption, meritocracy and cleanliness in public life,” said Nanda.

YFE began as an uprising against caste based reservation in 2006, when students across India joined hands to oppose 27 per cent OBC reservation in higher educational institutions. But its members have launched into Indian politics with all the zest and enthusiasm of the young.

With its emphasis on the people’s candidate, YFE is looking at providing a clean alternative to young Delhiites, who often shy away from voting. “Out of 1,050 political parties in India you are seeing a people’s candidate for the first time,” said Kaushal Mishra, 35-year-old president of YFE.

All the three candidates short-listed by YFE for the New Delhi constituency participated in a public debate on Tuesday evening.

“Candidates took questions from the public about issues such as terrorism, corruption and Swiss bank accounts. They were judged by a panel of experts before the final name was announced,” said Mishra.