Members of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) are preparing to launch a new outfit through its political front, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), sources have told ANI. After the Central government banned the PFI in September, last September, the leaders and activists of the outfit have been actively inducting new members to form a youth front in association with the SDPI, sources said, adding that the SDPI has also dropped broad hints about the formation of a new outfit comprising youths.

The banned outfit has also introduced some changes to its old recruiting methods, sources told ANI, adding that the induction process now involves picking up 4 to 5 potential recruits from each area where the outfit is known to operate and providing them with training and funds to make them full-time activists.

Further, according to sources, once the outfit has recruited enough members in their strongholds, the SDPI will start holding rallies and programmes highlighting contemporary national issues. The new outfit could be lined up for launch by the SDPI in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections next year. Earlier, activists and leaders of the PFI were recruited at religious centres and institutions affiliated to them, sources informed, adding that once the outfit and its recruitment pattern came under the scrutiny of central agencies, it adopted new ways to induct new members.

Over the last three months, leaders from both outfits — PFI and SDPI — held several private meetings in Trivandrum, and in the next few months, leaders from northern states are also expected to join these secret gatherings, sources told ANI. Setting sights on expanding the ambit of its operations, the PFI has also started recruiting cyber experts, the sources informed, adding that the inductees were trained to work for its cyber wing.

The outfit is believed to be recruiting activists, who are tech-friendly and equipped to explore cyberspace to add members and expand its operations. Several tech entrepreneurs have also invested in helping the outfit strengthen itself, sources added. PFI was banned across the country last year for an alleged anti-national agenda. The outfit was banned for five years under the UAP(A).