'Will Speak on Hate Crime in Parliament': SP MP Iqra Choudhary

"BJP's downfall is coming soon," says Iqra, the youngest Muslim woman MP in Lok Sabha.

4 min read

"If given a chance, I would like to raise the issue of hate crimes. I can only speak for myself now but I think the Party is of the opinion that what's wrong is wrong."

This is what Iqra Choudhary told The Quint as she sat down with us for an interview at The Western Court, Janpath.

Iqra is a third-generation political leader used to consider herself as a "wallflower." Today, she is a first-time MP from the Samajwadi Party. Also, the youngest Muslim woman MP in the Parliament at present who won by a margin of over 69,000 votes.

Her grandfather Akhtar Hasan, her father Munawwar Hasan and mother Tabassum Hasan are former MPs. Her elder brother Nahid Hasan is a three-time SP MLA, who retained his Kairana Assembly seat while contesting from jail in the 2022 UP polls.

In this interview, Choudhary addressed many things. Right from how she forayed into politics and her plans for Kairana to SP's silence over rising communal hate crimes against minorities and heckling of Muslim MPs in the Parliament.

"Since we're already internally fighting with the BJP, then why not fight it out in the open? There are some people within the BJP who is so engulfed in their arrogance that they cannot think right now, but their downfall is coming soon."
Iqra Choudhary to The Quint
"BJP's downfall is coming soon," says Iqra, the youngest Muslim woman MP in Lok Sabha.

Iqra Choudhary during her short stay in the Western Court premises.

(Photo: Arbab Ali/The Quint)

'BJP's Downfall Will Come Soon'

Iqra took the oath in the Lok Sabha on 25 June. Her entry into politics underpins on the experiences of the family over the years, acting as an inevitable push that drove her to become a leader on the ground.

Recalling her college years, she stated that she had envisioned a different life, one where she was to pursue a PhD and research in electoral reforms.

But in the covid-19 pandemic, she returned home. Two weeks later, her mother and brother were charged with the Gangster Act by the BJP. It was in these circumstances that she entered politics.

It took a year to get my brother out of the jail. Even then I had to look after my brother's term and his legal battles. The situation was such  that even our accounts were frozen. We couldn't buy or sell any property. My mother wasn't home too. When I faced so much and went through so many things, then my brother was transferred by BJP to a jail that was 1300 kms away.
Iqra Choudhary to The Quint

These circumstances culminated into Choudhary entering politics and fighting the polls against the BJP.

"There are some people within the BJP who are so engulfed in their arrogance that they cannot think right now, but their downfall is coming soon," she remarked.

'Embarrassment For India That Our Muslim MPs Are Heckled'

Talking about the manner in which Asaduddin Owaisi faced slogans of 'Jai Sri Ram' while he went on to take oath, Choudhary said this is not the first time a Muslim MP has experienced such conduct in the Parliament.

She recalled what happened to Danish Ali, the then SP MP in September 2023 when he was called 'Kathua' and a 'terrorist.'

"It is very unfortunate," she exclaimed.

"The way it also reached international levels, it was embarrassment for our country. But BJP does not take any stringent action against such people. So it only reflects and outshines BJP's politics and encourages the same. It is very sad because we are the minority and there's no denying that fact," she continued.
"BJP's downfall is coming soon," says Iqra, the youngest Muslim woman MP in Lok Sabha.

Iqra also met with the locals and family of Feroz Qureshi who was killed in Shamli.

(Photo: Iqra Choudhary/Instagram)

'Consider Myself Daughter of All Communities'

Then comes the question that is often thrown at her, one she finds pondering over often. What is more important? Representation or ideology?

I did not fight the elections on my Muslim identity. First and foremost, I am for the people in my constituency, for all the marginalised communities.
Iqra Choudhary to The Quint

Kairana has a mixed demography of Jats and Muslims, among others. The area was also affected by the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. Hence, she believes that she would not have won if she fought on her identity.

"If you look at the demography of my constituency, Kairana, Muslims are only 30-32% there and you cannot win an election only because of it," she stated.

When it comes to the ideology vs representation debate, Choudhary said representation just for the sake of tokenism is not right or enough.

She said, "I don't care whoever comes from BJP, but I don't appreciate their ideology. Some politician might be better in their Party, but you're still taking their ideology forward."

Last but not the least, Choudhary fondly talked about her plan for Kairana. The most important areas she wants to focus on — farmers' issue and women's education.

Kairana is a predominantly agrarian belt wherein she said, the farmers have been reeling under issues of payment and an unfulfilled MSP promise.

"My constituency, most of the people are farmers. Because I come from a family of farmers myself so I understand their plight. Their crop gets damaged and they have no choice but to give their crops away," she noted.

Adding that her Party will combine all efforts at local level, including from NGOs to look into the issue.

"If that also doesn't work, then hopefully if in 2027 if we come to power in UP, then we'll be to overcome it," she said, smiling.

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