Shoaib Iqbal, a veteran of Delhi politics, will be fighting his seventh straight election from his pocket borough of Matia Mahal - a Muslim dominated constituency. He joined the Aam Aadmi Party just a few days before the candidate list was announced.
Iqbal was a permanent figure in the Delhi Assembly between 1993, when he first won on a Janata Dal ticket, and 2014. In the 1998 election, he again won comfortably on a Janata Dal ticket. He switched over to the Janata Dal (Secular) in 2003 and maintained his grip over the seat. Between 2003 and 2008, he also served as the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly. In fact, it is to be noted that in the 1993, 1998 and 2003 elections, Iqbal secured over 50 percent of the vote share.
However, in the 2008 polls, when he contested on a Lok Janshakti Party ticket, his voteshare for the first time dipped to less than 40 percent. However, he managed to keep his hold on the seat intact. In the anti-Congress wave election of 2013, when the AAP made a spectacular debut winning 28 seats, Iqbal barely managed to retain his seat for the fifth time. He managed to defeat Congress’ Mirza Javed Ali by less than 3,000 votes.
Before the 2015 elections, Iqbal switched allegiance yet again, this time to the Congress party. However, he tasted defeat this time as he lost his seat to Asim Ahmed Khan of the AAP.
Interestingly, when Iqbal was in Congress, he had said that Kejriwal should be sent to jail. He had also questioned Kejriwal over his silence on the burning issue of Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. However, with the veteran leader now in the AAP, it would be interesting to see whether he would be able to take back his pocket borough.
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Updated Date: Feb 11, 2020 10:51:50 IST