Lucknow: In a significant development, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) is all set to launch a political party on Monday. The new outfit which will be known as Welfare Party of India (WPI) will also make its maiden appearance in the upcoming 2012 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
Confirming the developments, Convenor, WPI, SQR Ilyas stated that the party will be formally launched in New Delhi on Monday with JIH political affairs secretary Mujtaba Farooque from Aurangabad, Maharashtra as its national president. This is the first time any major socio-religious organisation of Muslims has announced to make direct foray in electoral politics.
“There was an imminent need for a party to achieve political goals. There were reports from various quarters that the JIH should go political and after discussing it with council members of JIH, we will formally go political on Monday,” said Ilyas. He, however, claimed that the political outfit will not be only Muslim political outfit, rather will include adequate representation from other communities. Even people in other parties with good political background are being contacted for joining WPI. Former BSP MP Ilyas Azmi is also reported to be part of the new outfit.
The new WPI will also have five Vice-Presidents and four General Secretaries. “I am convenor till the new party starts functioning. The baton will be passed to the executive committee of the party which will be soon announced,” said Ilyas, who is also executive member and Convenor of Babri Masjid Cell of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
The WPI will also field its candidates in the coming UP assembly elections and is also open to pact with other groups. “Presently we are not interested in having pact with any national party. We may go with some smaller outfits for forming an effective front in the state. Once you are in politics these things have to be done,” said Ilyas. The Jamaat had released a concept paper for the Welfare Party in February this year. The paper talked about welcoming Dalits and other backward castes in the party.
The JIH was formed on 26th August 1941 in Lahore under the leadership of Syed Abul Ala Maududi and boasts of nearly half a million members with Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) being its students wing. Presently it is headed by renowned Islamic scholar and author Maulana
Sayyid Jalaluddin Umari of North Arcot district of Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, the Jamaat’s move to form its political front could be seen as a move to counter its rival Popular Front of India in South India which opened its political front Social Democratic Party of India two years ago. SDPI has since opened its units in more than one dozen states.