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State gets its first non-Punjabi MLA in Farzana

The 14th Vidhan Sabha of the state is set to welcome its first non-Punjabi MLA,Farzana Alam — hailing from Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh.

Written by Amrita Chaudhry | Ludhiana |
March 8, 2012 12:47:06 am

The 14th Vidhan Sabha of the state is set to welcome its first non-Punjabi MLA,Farzana Alam — hailing from Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh — defeated Congress’ Razia Sultana in Malerkotla in the January 30 polls. She is married to former state DGP Izhar Alam,who belongs to Bihar’s Sihaur district.

“Punjab is my karambhoomi. I am more Punjabi than many who live here for I have stood steadfast in the darkest days of Punjab (referring to the days of militancy),” said the former top cop.

The issue of Alams being “outsiders” was not only raised by the Congress but also by local Akali leaders while ticket were being distributed. However,no one seemed to have bothered in Malerkotla. The reasons: Izhar Alam,as the chairman of the Punjab Wafk Board,carried out development projects in the area. A college for girls came up and so did a hospital. Women and the elderly got their pensions and some schools were upgraded.

“In the last two years,Izhar Alam made sure than he became a part of Malerkotla. Moreover,the people of Malerkotla wanted to defeat ADGP Mohammad Mustafa and in Alam,they found an equally powerful rival. No one was bothered about Alams being non Punjabis,” said Munshi Mohammad Ahsraf,a resident of Malerkotla.

The Alams made Malerkotla their home around two years ago as preparations for the 2012 Assembly elections began. At that time,Izhar had taken over as the chairman of the Wafk Board and was the SAD(B)’s candidate from Malerkotla.

According to sources,Izhar was brought in as an answer to the might of Mustafa,who had ensured that his wife Razia Sultana — who fought the Malerkotla elections on the Congress ticket — win the seat twice in the row. Following this,the elections here became a war between the two police officers.

However,when radical Sikhs began raising objections on Izhar’s candidature citing his role in crushing militancy in Punjab,SAD brought his wife Farzana to the fore. The shy,demure,soft spoken Farzana is a stark contrast to Razia Sultana,who belongs to Malerkotla. Her husband,however,comes from Uttar Pradesh.

During campaigning,Farzana was under the protective cloud of her husband. Izhar openly announced: “I am fighting this election and my wife is my front,I openly say this but Mustafa can not even admit this fact.”

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