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Tabassum Hasan, the 'Mahagathbandhan' Candidate Set to Hand BJP a Defeat in Kairana

When it came to the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll this year, which was necessitated by the death of Hukum Singh in February, the SP and RLD had to pick a candidate acceptable to all.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:May 31, 2018, 3:01 PM IST
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Noida: By 10am on Thursday, as the results for the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll poured in, the joint candidate of the opposition Tabassum Hassan had already built up an impressive lead over her rival, BJP’s Mriganka Singh. By 11 am, her lead seemed almost unassailable.

Speaking to CNN-News18, she said, “Our margins would have been greater if the EVMs didn't falter. Repolling also helped us by 20,000 votes. This will be a victory of truth over lies — our truth versus their 4 years of lies. All parties coming together for the people worked.”

But who is this 48-year-old leader, a recent entrant to the world of politics, who gave the BJP a fight in UP, where it won a massive majority just over a year ago?

Tabassum first fought and won the Lok Sabha Election in 2009 on a BSP ticket, just months after the death of her husband in a car crash in Harayana. Munawwar Hasan, her husband, was a popular leader in Kairana and since the early 1990s, he had been locked in a see-saw battle with Hukum Singh. With Munawwar’s death, the battle to appropriate his political legacy began within the family. On one side was Tabassum and her son Nahid and on the other were Munawwar’s brothers Anwar and Kanwar.

In 2014, Tabassum stepped aside from the seat and her son Nahid fought the election on a Samajwadi Party ticket against Hukum Singh. However, by now, Singh had shifted to the BJP and the ‘2014 Modi wave’ that swept aUttar Pradesh carried him to Parliament. Soon, however, the Hasans had their revenge. In the ensuing Assembly bypoll, which Hukum Singh had vacated, Nahid became the SP MLA by beating Hukum Singh’s nephew Anil Chauhan. He won the seat again in 2017, this time against Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka.

When it came to the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll this year, which was necessitated by the death of Hukum Singh in February, the SP and RLD had to pick a candidate acceptable to all.

“We had to find a way which would save face for both parties. So it was decided between Jayant Chaudhary and Akhilesh Yadav that they would field an SP leader on an RLD ticket. Several names were doing the rounds and we finally settled on Tabassum. She was the perfect candidate,” said a senior Samajwadi Party leader.

He said that Mriganka may have got some benefit since she belongs to a political dynasty but so does Tabassum. “Munawwar Hasan’s name still carries weight in Kairana and as his widow, she is best suited to lead the opposition alliance. She is a Muslim in a constituency with 5.26 lakh Muslim voters and as a Gujjar, she can reach across to Hindu Gujjars as well,” the leader added.​

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