BJP fields young Muslim ABVP leader to take on Akbaruddin Owaisi -
BJP fields young Muslim ABVP leader to take on Akbaruddin Owaisi
Posted 03 Nov 2018 01:40 PM

The BJP has fielded Muslim social worker and ABVP functionary Shahzadi Syed to contest against four-time AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi from Chandrayangutta Assembly constituency in Hyderabad.

Considered an AIMIM bastion, many feel the contest in Chandrayangutta will be a tough one for the 26-year-old Syed, who said she is confident of a win. “Muslims in the Old City are looking for a change,” Syed told The Indian Express on Friday.

She said that Muslims have moved beyond religion and will vote for jobs and development. “AIMIM has failed to provide any of these in last few decades. I stand a good chance of winning,’’ Syed said after the BJP named her to contest from Chandrayangutta.

A postgraduate in Political Science from Osmania University (OU), Syed is from Adilabad district and moved to Hyderabad in 2014 after she joined OU.

“I have been active in student politics after the movement for a separate state started in 2009. I have been part of ABVP. I think it is the most progressive and democratic student organisation and their idea of nationalism appealed to me. I have held several posts in the ABVP,’’ said Syed.

Before she joined the BJP on October 7, Syed was made a member of the ABVP National Executive Committee.

“Muslims used to mistake BJP as a staunch Hindu party. I feel that it is a secular and democratic party. Muslims have also started realising that… When I joined BJP, several Muslims congratulated me. This is the party that nominated a Muslim, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, to be the President of India. Prominent leaders like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Sikandar Bhakt are with the BJP. I feel in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, at least 4 per cent Muslims voted for BJP,’’ she said.

While Syed had been active in helping Muslim women with legal proceedings, she was first noticed by the BJP leadership when she organised a gathering to protest the externment of Hindu seer Swami Paripoornananda from Hyderabad in July this year.

She had severely criticised Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao after Hyderabad Police externed the Swami, who had threatened to launch an agitation if action was not taken against film critic Kathi Mahesh for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Ramayana.

Talking about the issue Friday, Syed said, “It was wrong to treat him like that. He had not committed any offence?’’

Asked how she will pose a challenge to four-time MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, she said people vote for Owaisis out of fear. “What has AIMIM done for Muslims?’’ she asked.

BJP Telangana chief K Laxman said Syed has a lot of potential. “She is a firebrand leader. She is the right candidate to take on Akbaruddin,’’ he said.

The BJP released its second list of 28 candidates on Friday. Another Muslim candidate, Hanif Ali, who is the BJP Telangana Minority Morcha chief, will contest from Bahadurpura.

The second list has six women, five ST and two SC candidates. The BJP had earlier announced its first list of 38 candidates.

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