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?Shahnawaz nowhere'

Taslimuddin hopes of winning from Kishanganj by a record margin this time.
PTI | By Kishanganj, Ra Khan ?rahi?
UPDATED ON APR 29, 2004 01:27 PM IST

Taslimuddin, who lost to Syed Shahnawaz Hussain by a slender margin in the last elections, is giving him a tough fight this time. Speaking to RA Khan ‘Rahi’ , he claims that a landslide victory awaits him

What are your poll prospects? On what basis do you say people are rallying behind you when Shahnawaz claims to have served them with sincerity?
I am going to win by a record margin, as there is polarisation of votes, not between the Hindus and Muslims, but secular and fascist forces.

Whom do you consider a rival—Shahnawaz, Kejriwal or Mastan? Who is the real challenge to you in the poll battle?
Well, Shahnawaz is apparently the nearest rival. But, owing to his frequent lies, even the BJP votes have shown a leaning towards Kejriwal, while Shahnawaz is fighting against dissidents in the party. As such, chances of a clean sweep by the RJD have become brighter.

Abdul Jalil Mastan of the Samajwadi Party has been claiming that he is a son of the soil. Doesn’t he pose a challenge?
Not at all. If he is a son of the soil, I, too, am one. But, Shahnawaz, a Muslim who has come all the way from Supaul and is representing a communal party, is deceiving both the communities. The secular forces have joined hands to give him a resounding defeat at the hustings.

After all that he has done for the people of the area, will he not be paid dividends?
What work do you speak of? Stoppage of Rajdhani Express and Capital Express for the capitalists? What is their utility for this area mostly inhabited by poor people? He is a blatant liar and has deceived the people. If any development work has been done in Kishanganj, it is due to the initiative taken by me, not Shahnawaz.

Your rival claims while Gujarat was burning, you were having chicken biryani in Darjeeling?
It’s absurd. It was the delegation of RJD and Congress MPs that rushed to Gujarat on getting the news and due to their pressure, representatives of the NDA government visited the state. But, Shahnawaz never went there to find about the plight of the minorities, rather, he was on a tour with Venkaiah Naidu and lobbying to get a cabinet berth.

Your rival says though you are called Seemanchal Gandhi, you don’t behave like Gandhi.
Well, all I have to say is that Shahnawaz is called a Muslim, but does not act like one. Rather, he behaves like the poster boy of Vajpayee and Advani. After Gujarat, he should have condemned Narendra Modi. Instead, Shahnawaz praised him to get a cabinet berth and the people will teach him a lesson this time.

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