Young MP faces the challenge of restoring Kairana’s reputation - Hindustan Times
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Young MP faces the challenge of restoring Kairana’s reputation

ByS Raju
Jun 07, 2024 09:58 PM IST

Iqra Hasan, 27, explained that she contested the election on the issues of employment, inflation, and higher education, especially for girls

MEERUT Iqra Hasan, 27, a post-graduate in International Law from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, has created history as one of the youngest candidates in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. But she is not a novice in politics.

Iqra Hasan defeated BJP’s sitting MP Pradeep Choudhary by a margin of 69,116 votes. (Sourced) PREMIUM
Iqra Hasan defeated BJP’s sitting MP Pradeep Choudhary by a margin of 69,116 votes. (Sourced)

The young MP explained that she contested the election on the issues of employment, inflation, reputation of her constituency and higher education, especially for girls. “Everyday, thousands of people travel to neighbouring Panipat (Haryana) every morning to earn their livelihood as they don’t have employment opportunities here. Weavers sell their products in Panipat because they don’t have a market in Kairana. Majority of the girls drop their studies after Class 12 because barring a private university in Gangoh, there is no higher education institute nearby,” she said.

Daughter of Munawwar Hasan and Tabassum Hasan, who were both MPs from Kairana, Iqra learned the nuances of politics from her family since childhood and witnessed hardships of being a member of a political family after her father’s death in an accident in December 2008.

In February 2021, her mother Tabassum Hasan, a two-time former MP from Kairana, and her brother Nahid Hasan and 40 others were booked under the Gangster Act. Nahid was booked in seven cases until the end of 2016, and 11 cases were lodged against from 2017 onwards. He got bail in 17 cases from lower courts, and the high court granted him bail in Gangster Act after he languished in jail for 10 months.

“It all happened due to political vendetta,” said Iqra.

She did her initial education in Kairana and thereafter pursued her Class 12 in Delhi before going to London for further studies. She wanted to pursue PhD, but cases registered her mother and brother forced her to return to India.

Recalling those days, Iqra said: “Those were the most crucial days of our family when my brother was put in jail and false cases were lodged against my mother.” She returned to India during the Covid pandemic and handled the case of her brother who was in jail.

Iqra shared that Nahid contested the 2022 Assembly elections from jail and she handled his entire campaign, after which he became MLA from Kairana constituency for the third time. Nahid came out on bail in January 2023.

Iqra recalled that while discussing preparations for Lok Sabha elections two years ago, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav advised her to contest on Kairana LS seat.

“It was Akhileshji’s faith in me that gave me two years to prepare for the elections and I utilised this time to reach out to people of all castes and communities, and eventually succeeded in getting their votes,” said Iqra who defeated BJP’s sitting MP Pradeep Choudhary by a margin of 69,116 votes.

She accused Choudhary of ignoring people of the constituency during his tenure. “Bigwigs campaigned extensively against a 27-year-old woman, but people rejected their religion-based politics of hate and showed their trust on Akhilesh Yadav,” added Iqra.

Iqra’s grandfather Akhtar Hasan was elected MP on Congress ticket in 1984 and her father Munawwar Hasan was a member of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council for which his name was included in the Guinness Book of World Records. Her mother represented the Kairana constituency twice in the Lok Sabha and brother Nahid Hasan is third-time MLA from the Kairana Assembly constituency.

Iqra admires her father as her ideal in politics. “I follow his footsteps in politics though he left us 15 years ago when I was not even a teenager.” She shared that her brother and mother are her support system.

The young lawmaker says that her priority and challenge is to fulfill expectations of people of her constituency and to restore the reputation of Kairana, which was jolted by a fake agenda of “Hindu Exodus”.

“There was no such exodus. It was an issue of law and order, but the BJP twisted it to give political colour and the constituency earned a bad name, which had an adverse effect on the development of the area. We are close to NCR and borders of two states (Haryana and Delhi), but got no advantage because of this bad name earned out of BJP’s false agenda,” she claimed.

Praising SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, she said: “It’s always good to interact with a person with matching wavelength of thoughts. Akhileshji remains open for discussion on any issue and encourages the use of new technology. Such approach helps us in the field to serve people with confidence and trust.”

The young MP believes that the formation of a coalition government is good for democracy and suggested that youths should join politics to make the country and democracy stronger.

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