New Bihar Assembly will have more Muslim MLAs

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

Patna: The Bihar Assembly poll results announced on Wednesday have brought some good news for the state Muslim community – the community whose lot is hardly changed with the change of political regime in Patna.

The incoming 15th Bihar Assembly will have more Muslim MLAs than the outgoing one. While the parties like Congress, RJD and LJP that fielded more Muslim candidates in the just concluded Assembly poll have got severe electoral blows from the people, it is good that the new Assembly will have 19 Muslim MLAs against 15 in the outgoing Assembly. The community can now hope there will be more mouths to voice their concerns in the state legislature.

The better part of the news is that among the newly elected 19 Muslim MLAs there are two women – it would be perhaps first time that two Muslim women MLAs will be in one assembly. It is interesting that all the two were fielded by JDU-BJP alliance. Those fielded by other parties have lost. RTI activist Parveen Amanullah, wife of Urban Development secretary Afzal Amanullah, has won on JDU ticket from Sahebpur Kamal assembly segment. Razia Khatoon from the same party has won Kalyanpur seat.

Among the newly elected Muslim MLAs is only one from BJP. Lone party candidate Saba Zafar has won the heavily Muslim populated Amour seat. He was the lone Muslim candidate of the party in the state assembly election.

It is noteworthy that Muslim representation has increased in the Assembly despite the fact that most of the sitting Muslim MLAs could not retain their seats. Of the 15 Muslim MLAs who fought the election only five could win their seats. They are Abdul Bari Siddiqi of RJD (Alinagar), Izhar Ahmed of JDU (Gaura Boram), Md Tausif Alam of Congress (Bahadurganj),Akhtarul Iman of RJD (Kochadhaman) and Shahid Ali Khan of JDU(Sursand).