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Kairana MP Iqra Choudhary: ‘No Muslim woman is happy with BJP. Their triple talaq claim is also baseless as they have criminalised a civil issue’

The 29-year-old Samajwadi Party (SP) debutant Iqra Choudhary has shot into the limelight after winning the Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, where she defeated sitting BJP MP Pradeep Kumar by 69,116 votes.

Iqra is a third-generation politician. Her grandfather Akhtar Hasan and her father Munawwar Hasan are former MPs and so is her mother Tabassum Hasan, who won the seat in 2009 and in the 2018 bypoll.

Iqra’s elder brother Nahid Hasan is a three-time SP MLA, who retained his Kairana Assembly seat while contesting from jail in the 2022 UP polls.

Iqra’s constituency comprises areas affected by the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, which featured prominently in the campaign of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the belt. In an interview with The Indian Express, she speaks on various issues including her challenges, the Muslim representation in Parliament, and the BJP’s campaign in UP. Excerpts:

How was your campaign and what challenges did you face?

The major issue here (Kairana) was that the “double-engine” BJP government had not done anything. There was anti-incumbency against the sitting MP (Pradeep Kumar), who was not active on the ground and sought votes in the name of the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). This time, the Hindu-Muslim agenda of the BJP and its nationalism narrative did not work as local issues like farmers’ problems and those related to sugarcane were at play.

Issues like unemployment and inflation, which were consistent across the country, also existed… We fought to establish bhai chaara (brotherhood) as this was the place where the 2013 riots happened. Since then, there has been a divide. The fact that a Muslim has won from here shows that all communities – Sainis, Rajputs, Gujjars, Jats, Dalits – voted for

Read more on indianexpress.com