Madhubani Constituency: Muslim Vote Split May Doom Prospects of Deserving Candidate

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Dr Shakeel is contesting from Madhubani constituency as an independent candidate after resigning from Congress. — File photo

S M Anwar Hussain | Caravan Daily

MADHUBANI, BIHAR — This is very disturbing to know that the two supposed to be the heavyweights among the Muslim politicians in Bihar have decided to oppose each other in Madhubani parliamentary constituency. One is Dr Shakeel ex-MP and until recently the spokesperson of All India Congress party who opted to fight election as an independent candidate.

Another is former Union Minister and senior RJD leader M A A Fatmi, who could not get party ticket this time from Madhubani and has decided to contest Parliamentary election as an independent candidate.

Who has done what and not done for the community and the constituency during their hay days, I wouldn’t like to go into that debate. What is more important is how to stop that Madhubani seat going into hands of BJP. And in my opinion, I feel that Dr Shakeel deserves our all-out support more than Fatmi Bhai because of various clear reasons.

First, in this shameless culture of buying and selling tickets openly by various gathbandhan constituents and candidates, Dr Shakeel is at least not guilty of purchasing a party ticket by paying hefty amount of money. He has not changed his party, and has not purchased ticket from another party. Although he has resigned from his spokesperson ‘s job and possibly he will be expelled from the party very soon. But one thing is sure he will go back to his party which is definitely going to rule the country in the coming term.

Second strong argument in support of him is that he had made it clear already more than a week ago that he was going to contest from Madhubani seat. Fatmi Bhai is late. After the  Madhubani seat was given to VIP,  I personally phoned him and asked him about his next political move, he came with an evasive answer. Now if he tries to file nomination from Madhubani, it will mean that his aim is not to reach parliament, but to simply spoil the chances of the other strong Muslim candidate.

Third point is that there are as many Jhas in Madhubani as Muslims are. And in the present political scenario, the Jha voters will either go with Congress first or BJP as the second option. If both the social groups join hands in support of Muslim candidate, he will definitely win. Mr Shakeel had all the chances of getting the full support of Congress cadre as well as Jha cast voters .

Fatmi seems to have made some arrangements with CPI and at the most, he can get CPI Cadre Vote.

As Mr Shakeel has already represented this seat twice earlier, he knows the people well and people know him well. Madhubani has been the political playground of his father and grand father both.

Moreover, due to strained relationships with Lalu Yadav, Fatmi is not going to get any Yadav support. With all optimism, he can’t get more than two lakh votes.

Muslims of the constituency should understand that if their votes get split in the name of relationship, friendship, personal equations, and financial gains, they are going to gift their seat to Shri Narendra Kumar Modi, inviting a great danger to the integrity.

So, under the circumstances, it is advisable for the Muslim community to not let their votes split and vote in favour of Dr Shakeel to stop the BJP from capturing the seat. Let me make one thing clear that I am neither a Congress member nor have any acquaintance with Dr Shakeel Ahmad. This is just an objective analysis.

Candidates who got tickets to contest the elections because of money power or any other underhand deal do not deserve any support of voters as they are not the real deserving candidates. Only candidates who have a record of political services in the region, and social contribution, deserve the support of voters.

For Fatmi Bhai Sheohar constituency would have been a better place to contest the present parliamentary election as RJD’s candidate from Sheohar is not acceptable to the Muslim community because of his close contacts with many BJP leaders. Muslims of Sheohar see in him another Mokhtar Abbas Naqvi, another Shahnawaz Hussain and another Arif Mohammad Khan— the most hated trio among Muslims all over India.

I feel assured that Mr Fatmi will receive a grand reception from Muslim community as well as other marginalised communities in Sheohar.

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The author is ex-President of AMU Students Union. The views expressed here are his personal.

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