Babri Masjid champion's daughter gets JD-U ticket in Bihar
Patna: A day after the Ayodhya verdict was pronounced, Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) gave an assembly ticket to the daughter of diplomat-turned-politician Syed Shahabuddin -- the man who championed the cause of Babri Masjid for Muslims.
The JD-U has given a ticket to Parveen Amanullah, in her late 40s, to contest from Sahebpur Kamal, a Muslim-dominated constituency in Begusarai district, about 125 km from here.
The JD-U is contesting the October-November assembly polls in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Shahabuddin had countered the BJP-led campaign to build a Ram temple at the disputed Ayodhya site. Moreover, Amanullah's husband Afzal Amanullah, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, had reportedly mapped senior BJP leader L.K. Advani's arrest in Bihar during his Rath Yatra to Ayodhya in 1990.
Amanullah's name figured in the second list of 73 candidates released by the party Thursday night. The JD-U will contest 141 of the 243 assembly seats while the BJP will contest on 102 seats.
"I am JD-U as well as NDA candidate in the polls," Amanullah told reporters.
Amanullah, a post-graduate in social sciences from Delhi University, herself came out openly as a critic of BJP after the 2002 Gujarat riots. But she softened her stand on BJP, particularly after 2005 when Nitish Kumar came to power in Bihar in alliance with the party. Her husband was also given the powerful post of state home secretary - first time for a Muslim IAS officer - by Nitish Kumar.
She was also keen to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Kishanganj parliamentary constituency as a JD-U candidate. But she was denied the ticket by JD-U then. Amanullah's father Shahabuddin represented Kishanganj, a Muslim-dominated seat in Parliament.
In political circles here, JD-U's decision to field Parveen Amanullah as a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate is seen as a calculated move by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
According to officials sources, when Advani's rath entered Dhanbad in undivided Bihar in October 1990, Amanullah's husband was ready to arrest him following an order by then chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Parveen Amanullah's father Syed Shahabuddin is president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) and convenor of the Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee (BMMCC).