Hyderabad, Nov 3: A young, energetic and enthusiastic Muslim activist of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Shahzadi Syed will challenge Akbaruddin Owaisi, brother of firebrand AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi in the ensuing assembly elections to Telangana state. She will be contesting as official BJP candidate.
Shahzadi is a post-graduate in Political Science from Osmania University. She comes from Adilabad district. She joined the Osmania University in 2014.
She will challenge the AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi from Chandrayangutta assembly constituency in Hyderabad. Akbaruddin is sitting MLA from this constituency.
Obviously, the AIMIM has a stronghold in this constituency and the opponent is likely to have a tough time in contesting against such a seasoned politician. But the 26-year-old Shahzadi Syed exuded confidence about her victory. “Muslims in the Old City are looking for a change”, she said.
There is a new awakening witnessed among the Muslims now. They are rising above religion and want to be partners in development; she said adding that they will vote for jobs and progress. The AIMIM has failed to provide jobs and progress to them in the last few decades. Therefore, she stands a good chance to win the electoral battle, Syed said.
Shahzadi Syed is an active member of ABVP since 2009 and active in student politics after the movement for a separate state caught momentum in that year. “The ABVP is the most progressive and democratic student organisation and their idea of nationalism appealed to me. I have held several posts in the ABVP,’’ she said. She was made the member of the ABVP National Executive before she joined the BJP on October 7.
She felt that the BJP was the most secular and democratic organisation contrary to the conventional Muslim belief that portrays the party as a staunch Hindu outfit. But the Muslims are changing their views about the BJP, she said adding that when she joined BJP several Muslims congratulated and welcomed her. 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.