April 9 was the last day to file nominations for the Lok Sabha elections in Kishanganj district of Bihar. All the candidates filed their nominations as decided earlier. However, one major change came in the form of Maulana Asrarul Haque, who got ticket from Congress party a couple of days back. Earlier Dr. Jawed Azad was all set to contest elections with Congress ticket, but the party made last minute changes to achieve success against RJD's strong leader Mohd. Taslimuddin. Maulana Asrarul Haque's nomination as Congress candidate has totally changed the election scenario in Kishanganj.
A cabinet state minister Taslimuddin was expecting an easier fight this time, as other candidates were not much influential among public. Most importantly, BJP's candidate Syed Shahnawaz Hussain who was the main contender of Taslimuddin for past three occasions, vacated the seat for Janata Dal United candidate Syed Mahmood Ashraf. As Shahnawaz witnessed a mammoth defeat and got 2 lakh 59 thousand votes against winning candidate Taslimuddin's 4 lakh 30 thousands votes, so he didn't dare to contest elections from Kishanganj.
With Shahnawaz's exit the win had become easier for Taslimuddin, but what he never expected happened in the last moment. Congress was unhappy with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav's seat sharing policy in Bihar, so it decided to contest elections from most of the seats in the state including Kishanganj. Fact is that, the party had once enjoyed a strong hold in Kishanganj constituency and won the elections six times. But, in the recent past like most regions of the country Congress party had lost his grip in Kishanganj. This time before the elections Congress had decided to provide the ticket to Dr. Jawed Azad. Most workers of Congress were not happy with the decision of party that caused major change, and Maulana Asrarul Haque was given priority in place of Dr. Jawed Azad.
Now Congress is highly confident for triumph in Kishanganj with Maulana Asrarul Haque. And logically due to Maulana Asrar factor, the party's expectations can't be said wrong at all. In current scenario, if we take into account Maulana Asrarul Haque's past records it would not be wrong to expect victory for Congress in the 15th Lok Sabha elections. A number of reasons favour Maulana Asrarul Haque and people have started speculations for his win. In fact, in every nook and corner of the district including chowks and chowrahas (cross-roads), Maulana Asrarul Haque has become a debated topic.
Let us have a look on Maulana's political journey that had started 20 years back in 1989 during 9th Lok Sabha elections. For the first time, Maulana Asrarul Haque contested elections as an independent candidate with a 'lion' symbol. In 1989 elections, from youth to elders all were chanting 'jeetega bhai jeetega, sher chhap jeetega'. On the other hand renowned journalist M.J. Akbar was fighting election with Congress ticket. At last the election results surprised all, M. J. Akbar won by 25,991 votes. M.J.Akar got 1,78,556 votes which was 32.53 per cent of valid votes, while Maulana Asrarul Haque occupied the second spot with 1, 52565 votes, 27.80 per cent of valid votes.
Maulana's defeat was a major set back for him and his supporters as well. The people's favourite leader didn't contested election for two consecutive terms until 1998 when he got ticket from Smajwadi Party. Despite a long gap, Maulana didn't lost his influence and lost election to Taslimuddin only by 6,488 votes and secured 2,30,256 votes, 31.58 per cent of valid votes.
One year later in 1999 Maulana contested election with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and got 1,97, 478 votes that caused defeat of Taslimuddin. The Maulana - Taslim clash benefitted BJP's candidate Syed Shahnawaz Hussain who won the elections with 2,58,035 votes. Taslimuddin remained at the second spot with 2,49, 387 votes. Despite securing third position in 1999 elections, interestingly Maulana got highest votes in Bahadurganj and Amor areas that included 44,738 and 48, 273 votes respectively.
In 2004, Maulana Asrarul Haque didn't contested elections and Taslimuddin defeated Syed Shahnawaz Hussain with more than 1 lakh 70 thousand votes. This time, no one was expecting, Maulana will contest parliamentary elections. But, his candidature as Congress candidate has changed the election equations in Kishanganj.
In fact, by leaving behind his three times defeat record, Maulana has started to smell victory in 15th Lok Sabha elections. Maulana's clean image is the main plus point, in addition to this, his contribution in the field of education in educationally backward Kishanganj district will help him a lot. Taslim's criminal record is the main ghost of his political career, but his self proclaimed development works may come to his rescue.
On the whole, both Maulana Asrarul Haque and Mohd. Taslimuddin have a strong backup from their supporters. Statistically it is going to be a close fight between Maulana and Taslim. But, Maulana's magical charm is enough to change the final election results in Kishanganj. Let us wait and see, whether people's effort makes Maulana victorious or not. If Maulana get success on his fourth attempt it would be a historic moment for him and the locals as well. Most importantly, Maulana's victory will be booty for Congress party, which has almost lost his stand in Bihar and facing wrath of RJD and LJP.
Designed by Editor KishanganjBihar.com