Begum Tabassum Hasan, who won the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll on a Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket, is not an unfamiliar face in Uttar Pradesh politics. Tabassum has the backing of Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party against BJP’s Mriganka Singh. With the victory, Tabassum has become the only Muslim MP from Uttar Pradesh since 2014.
Tabassum did her schooling from JBS Kanya Inter College, Saharanpur and studied till matriculate. According to her profile in Lok Sabha, she is an agriculturist by profession. She has two children with late Samajwadi Party politician Munawwar Hasan, who was an MP from 1996 to 1998.
Tabassum was first elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 on a BSP ticket, months after her husband died in a car crash in Haryana. She was a member of Committee on Health and Family Welfare and a Standing Committee on Social Empowerment and Justice. She is also a member of UP Central Sunni Waqf board.
Tabassum has been vocal about the EVM tampering in the current bypolls in UP and called for a return to ballot paper system. On the polling day, she went on to say that the Election Commision is not replacing the faulty machines in Muslim and Dalit dominated areas and accused the BJP of manipulation to win elections.
She pipped RLD national general Secretary Jayant Chaudhary in the race to contest from communally sensitive Kairana constituency. According to reports, she was picked to contest as the area has a 20 per cent Muslim population. Her candidature was backed by former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav himself.
After gaining a considerable lead in the early counting, she said, “This is the victory of truth. I still stand by what I said, there has been a conspiracy and we do not want any future elections to be conducted on EVM machines. The path for the united opposition is clear in 2019.”
She added that if not for faulty EVMs, her victory margin would have been bigger. “Our margins would have been greater if the EVMs didn’t falter. Repolling also helped us by 20,000 votes. This will be a victory of truth over lies — our truth versus their 4 years of lies. All parties coming together for the people worked,” Hasan added.