Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, the father of JNU Ultra-left wing freelance protestor Umar Khalid is all set to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Jangipur seat in West Bengal. Ilyas is a former member of the Islamic terror outfit Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was banned in 2001.
According to the reports, SQR Ilyas will be contesting on a ticket from the Welfare Party of India (WPI) from the Jangipur constituency, a Muslim-dominated seat in the Murshidabad district. The seat was previously held by former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son, Abhijit. As per the 2011 census, Muslims make up to 61.79 per cent of the constituency’s population.
Citing the ‘deteriorating condition’ of the people of Murshidabad, predominantly Muslims, former SIMI member Ilyas said, “Seven to eight lakh people migrated to Kolkata from this area and there is very little employment opportunity despite the fact that Jangipur produces good quality jute and mango. But those can’t be processed locally and hence they had to go to Kolkata. I’m highlighting such issues in my campaign.”
The Welfare Party of India is known to be primarily geared towards Dalit and minority issues. Although the Left front has given away the Jangipur seat to the Congress as per their seat-sharing arrangement, the WPI may have the potential to play spoilsport by splitting the Muslim vote.
Interestingly, SQR Ilyas decision to be a part of the Indian election process comes at a time when his son Umar Khalid, who is part of ‘Break-India’ brigade has been chargesheeted for sedition for shouting ‘Bharat tere tukde honge, inshallah inshallah’, ‘Afzal hum sharminda hai, tere qaatil zinda hai’ and other seditious slogans. The 1200-paged charge sheet reportedly mentions the name of that time JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.
Recently, Former IAS officer Shah Faesal had also decided to launch his political outfit ‘Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement’ and had expressed his wish to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Interestingly, 31-year-old former Jawaharlal National University (JNU) student leader and freelance protestor Shehla Rashid Shora is also likely to join former IAS officer Shah Faesal’s yet to be launched party.