The Welfare Party of India (WPI) Saturday announced it would field candidates in 18 seats of 42 seats in West Bengal.
Party’s general secretary SQR Ilyas said the party, which was formed in 2011, has fielded candidates in as many as 44 seats in five states.
“We are announcing the names of 11 candidates in Saturday. We are still in negotiations with the SDPI and AIDUF for alliance, which is why we are keeping seven seats in reserve for sharing them with our allies,” said Ilyas.
WPI came to the fore when it bagged 42,000 votes in the 2012 Jangipur byelection.
Like WPI, the SDPI and AIDUF are also exclusively minority parties. “We never spoke to the Trinamool Congress for any alliance, as our policies are not in consonance,” added Ilyas.
WPI president Dr Raisuddin Baidya, who was party candidate from Jangipur in 2012, said, “We believe the time has comewhen the Muslim ‘samaj’ has to come forward and be part of the parliamentary system as more as possible.”
The party has fielded a woman, , Sahjaadi Parveen, from Howrah.