Telangana elections: BJP fields ABVP leader Shahzadi Syed to take on Akbaruddin Owaisi

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New Delhi | Updated: Dec 07, 2018 1:06 PM

Syed is from Adilabad district and moved to Hyderabad in 2014 after she joined Osmania University.

The 26-year-old Political Science postgraduate said that Muslims in the old city are looking for a change. (File photo)

The BJP in Telangana released its second list of 28 candidates on Friday. The list consists of the name for a crucial and powerful assembly seat of the state held by AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi. BJP has fielded social worker and ABVP functionary Shahzadi Syed to contest against four-time AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi from Chandrayangutta Assembly constituency in Hyderabad. Another Muslim candidate, Hanif Ali, who is the BJP Telangana Minority Morcha chief, will contest from Bahadurpura.

Syed is from Adilabad district and moved to Hyderabad in 2014 after she joined Osmania University. The 26-year-old Political Science postgraduate said that Muslims in the old city are looking for a change, The Indian Express reported. Chandrayangutta seat is considered as an AIMIM bastion. Before she joined the BJP on October 7, Syed was made a member of the ABVP National Executive Committee. ABVP is the student wing of BJP’s ideological mentor RSS.

BJP Telangana chief K Laxman told Indian Express that Syed has a lot of potential. “She is a firebrand leader. She is the right candidate to take on Akbaruddin,” he said. Moreover, after BJP named her to contest against Akbaruddin, Syed said that Muslims have moved beyond religion and will vote for jobs and development and the AIMIM has failed to provide any of these in last few decades and she said people vote for Owaisis out of fear.

“Muslims used to mistake BJP as a staunch Hindu party. I feel that it is a secular and democratic party. Muslims have also started realising that… When I joined BJP, several Muslims congratulated me. This is the party that nominated a Muslim, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, to be the President of India. Prominent leaders like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Sikandar Bhakt are with the BJP. I feel in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, at least 4 per cent Muslims voted for BJP,” IE quoted Syed as saying.

Syed was first noticed by the saffron party when she organised a gathering to protest the externment of Hindu seer Swami Paripoornananda from Hyderabad in July this year. She had severely criticised Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao after Police externed the Swami, who had threatened to launch an agitation if action was not taken against a film critic for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Ramayana.

Meanwhile, the Congress would contest on 95 seats in the coming elections to the 119-member Telangana assembly, leaving the remaining to partners of the proposed grand alliance. The state will go to polls on December 11, 2018.

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