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Spirited lot hopes to prove politics can be clean

This is the stuff that Mani Ratnam?s Yuva and Rakeysh Mehra?s Rang De Basanti were made of, reports Snehal Rebello.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 01:49 IST

This is the stuff that Mani Ratnam’s Yuva and Rakeysh Mehra’s Rang De Basanti were made of. Three ‘clean’ youngsters move into the political space with a romantic promise to cleanse the system.

Doctor Krunal Desai, 24, entrepreneur Mahesh Patil, 25, and homemaker Urmila Jaiswal, 34, will contest the February 1 civic elections. They are backed by Lok Paritran, the political outfit that a bunch of graduates of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) formed in Jodhpur in November 2005. The party’s city branch was opened with a small, open-air meeting at Shivaji Park on September 17. There are already 500 members in Mumbai.

The party has a bigger goal in mind: Lok Sabha elections, 2009. But for now, the candidates are concentrating on the civic polls with good governance and rooting out corruption as their poll plank.

They are working with a grand poll budget of a few thousand. Krunal, Mahesh and Urmila will contest as independents since their party is not formally registered with the Election Commission.

“The issues are the same — roads, drainage, water supply. But we want to set a new trend and raise efficiency bars. A low-budget election is just one such thought,” said Mahesh, who is into poultry farming and will contest from Thane.

At a time when the youth are disillusioned and drifting away from politics, the trio has decided to woo them back.

“We are targeting the youth, who normally do not vote. Besides, it is easier to convince them rather than the middle-aged, who usually have party affiliations,” said Krunal, who is doing his post-graduation in occupational therapy at KEM Hospital.

Krunal knows that standing against seasoned Shiv Sena corporator Prabhakar Shinde may not promise victory, but he is ready to take on the challenge.

Urmila is no greenhorn. The mother of three had contested as an independent from Thane earlier, and lost. Patil is busy convincing his unhappy parents, who are worried about his safety in one of the wildest spaces on Earth — Indian politics.

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First Published: Dec 20, 2006 01:49 IST