BJP will play communal card but we will stick to development agenda, said Sajda Ahmed
Shabina Akhtar, Caravan Daily
KOLKATA: Sajda Ahmed, the grieving widow of TMC’s most visible Muslim face from Bengal Sultan Ahmed, who died all of a sudden in September 2017, engages in a talk with Caravan Daily, soon after being declared as the party’s candidate from Uluberia. Following are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. How prepared for the by-elections?
A. I had never thought of taking a political plunge under such circumstances. To be honest, I am yet to meet the people from my constituency as I am still serving my iddat period, which will get over by the fourth of this month, post which I will be doing the needful. However, the party workers and well-wishers have been pouring in since the declaration has been made.
Q. BJP will try its best to take advantage. Any plans to take them on?
A. It doesn’t really worry that much as my husband has done a lot of developmental work for the people of that area, irrespective of caste, community or gender. Bengalis are intelligent people and will cast their votes judiciously. I have faith in our voters.
Q. Still, does the party have any plans on how to take on BJP?
A. Well, to be honest, we know that they will be playing the communal card. But we (both me and the party) are simply going to stick on to our political ideology and campaign on a single agenda, which is development.
Q. Are you aware of Yogi Adityanath being called for campaigning?
A. They as a party are free to do whatever they want. For me it is very clear – I will have to take forward the legacy of my late husband, which is to work for the overall development of Uluberia constituency.
Q. Wasn’t talks on for your son Sharique Ahmed, contesting the elections?
A. Well, there were some speculations and if the party would have wanted him to contest then he would have. But I presume he is too young for this at the moment. Also, the fact that our party supremo Mamata didi, showed confidence in me, made us follow the party decision.
Q. What do you have to say about Mamata’s decision to have you contest the election?
A. It feels great that she has chosen me for this role. In doing so – selecting a woman candidate for Uluberia, a critical seat at the moment, she is sending a very good message of women empowerment. I am confident that under the leadership of our party supremo Mamata Banerjee, women of Bengal will get an identity, which will not just be acknowledged in India but globally.
Q. Tell us something about yourself?
A. I am a University of Calcutta graduate. Till now, I have been a social worker, working the education and healthcare sector. I am the secretary of Madarsah Tus Sabaya for Girls.