Friday, May 17th, 2024

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Vivek Shukla: Now, who would be Harphool Singh in Sadar Bazaar or Gol Market, who would have once been the neighbor of Sikandar Bakht? He lived in Havelock Square, Gol Market. There are still some people who saw Sikandar Bakht playing hockey at Shivaji Stadium. He was a fast forward. Played for a long time with Independent Club in Delhi Hockey League. After the match, he liked to drink lassi with friends in the sweet shops of Bhagat Singh Market. Sikandar Bakht is remembered in a special context during the Lok Sabha elections. This time also BJP, Congress or AAP have not made any Muslim their candidate. Bakht was the only Muslim MP elected to the Lok Sabha from the capital Delhi. Lok Sabha elections were held in the country in 1977. All the opposition parties together formed the Janata Party. Sikandar Bakht’s Congress (O) also merged with the Janata Party. Janata Party made him its candidate from Chandni Chowk seat. Due to imposition of emergency the atmosphere was against Congress.

Sikandar Bakht got success from Chandni Chowk. After the elections, Morarji Desai’s government was formed at the centre. In that, Sikandar Bakht was entrusted with the work of Urban Development Ministry. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also from Delhi in the Janata Party government. He was made the Foreign Minister. Sikandar Bakht used to give very passionate speeches. He also used to recite poetry in his speeches. But the Janata Party government fell due to the daily bickering among its top leaders. After that, Lok Sabha elections were held again in 1980. Sikandar Bakht again fought from Chandni Chowk on Janata Party ticket. This time he lost to Congress candidate Bhikhuram Jain by 18 thousand votes.

Naren, son of Bhikhuram Jain, says that Bakht Saheb was a very educated and extremely intelligent person. Sikandar Bakht and Bhikhuram Jain were in Congress at one time. There was friendship between both of them. Both were elected to the Delhi Municipal Corporation in 1952. When Congress broke up in 1969, Sikandar Bakht joined Congress (O). Bhikhuram Jain remained in Congress. Sikandar Bakht later joined BJP. He also became the Foreign Minister in the 13-day government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed in 1996. Later he was also the Governor of Kerala. Sikandar Bakht belonged to the Qureshi community of Muslims. She married Raj Sharma soon after the partition. Raj ji was also an active political worker. Even in those toxic times, there was no opposition to that inter-religious marriage in Delhi. Even now, many people can be found in the capital who can testify to this fact.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own.

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