April 3, 2009 1:56:10 am
Way back in 1996,when a photographer clicked Hina Sahab serving tea to her husband Mohammed Shahabuddin at their Pratappur house in Siwan,the controversial RJD MP made his disapproval clear. It was after a lot of persuasion that Shahabuddin allowed his wifes photograph to be published. According to Pramod Kumar,a Siwan-based journalist,Shahabuddin ensured that Hina was away from the media glare. She rarely came out of the house,leave alone campaign for her husband.
Things are different today. On March 30,Hina (36) was all set to face flashing cameras and questions from the media. With her husband serving a life sentence for kidnapping with the intent to murder,Hina is now the RJD candidate from Siwan. Shahabuddins family said it was tough convincing this conservative Muslim housewife and mother of three to jump into the election battle.
Hina,a student of Dawood Memorial Girls High School and Vidya Bhavan Mahila College in Siwan,married Shahabuddin,then an MLA,in 1991. The couple has three children Osama (15),Tasleem (13) and Herah (10). Izazul,Shahabuddins brother-in-law,said,She is a devout Muslim and loves to read religious texts.
On Monday,she was confidence personified while filing her nomination. While RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav,who accompanied her,did most of the talking,a well-tutored Hina had a few things to say too. I have joined the poll fray to complete the unfinished work of my husband who has been falsely implicated in criminal cases. I do not have personal fights. It is my people versus my so-called political rivals, she said. Hina faces a strong candidate from the JD(U),Brishen Patel.
Siwan came out in a large numbers to catch a glimpse of its sultana (Shahabuddin is referred to as Siwan Sultan). Dressed in a black burqa,it was only during the nomination that people got a glimpse of her face.
Her affidavit said she owns four houses,land and jewellery worth Rs 99 lakh. She also has a case pending against her,as she is accused of not submitting her arms license even after its expiry.
Hina Sahab,Veena Devi (LJP MP Surajbhans wife),and Ranjita Ranjan (RJD Madhepura MP Pappu Yadavs wife) symbolise parties attempt to ensure proxy entry for their husbands to the Parliament. Shahabuddin,Surajbhan and Pappu are all convicted for serious crimes,including murder,and cannot contest polls.
Shahabuddin is serving a life sentence and faces trial in more than 30 cases,including eight for murder,20 for attempted murder,kidnapping and extortion. He first entered the Lok Sabha in 1996 and won three consecutive elections till 2004. He was first convicted on May 5,2007 for kidnapping CPI-ML activist Chhote Lal Gupta.
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