Bihar’s Muslim MPs: A Peek into Political Journeys of Tariq Anwar, Muhammad Javed

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The two leaders have a significant role to play in the state, but their focus on broader Muslim leadership in Bihar remains limited.

Mohammad Alamullah | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – The 2024 Lok Sabha elections have witnessed a notable victory for two Muslim candidates from Bihar, Tariq Anwar and Dr. Muhammad Javed. Their extensive political journeys and contributions to the state highlight their significant roles, even as their focus on broader Muslim leadership in Bihar remains limited.

Seasoned politician Tariq Anwar secured his sixth win from the Katihar parliamentary constituency, defeating JD(U)’s Dalal Chand Goswami by 49,863 votes. Born on January 16, 1951, in Arul district within the Magadha Commissionerate, 73-year-old Anwar hails from a political family. His father, Mushtaq Ahmed Shah, was elected as MLA from Sikandra constituency in Jamui District on a Congress ticket in 1962.

Anwar’s political career began in 1972 when he joined the Congress. His first attempt to secure a seat from Katihar in 1977 was unsuccessful, losing to a candidate from the Janata Party. However, he won his first parliamentary election in 1980 and represented Katihar from 1980 to 1984, 1996 to 1998, and 2014. He also served twice as a member of the Rajya Sabha.

In 1999, Anwar, along with P.A. Sangma and Sharad Pawar, left the Congress to establish the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). After nearly two decades, in 2018, he rejoined the Congress. During his tenure, he held various positions in both Congress and NCP, including Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries. Despite losing to Goswami in the 2019 parliamentary elections, Anwar made a strong comeback in 2024, reaffirming his prominent status in Bihar politics.

“Tariq Anwar’s victory is a testament to his enduring influence and commitment to his constituency,” commented a political analyst. However, his impact on Muslim leadership beyond Katihar has been minimal, with limited engagement in addressing broader Muslim issues across other districts in the state.

Dr. Muhammad Javed, like Anwar, comes from a political lineage. Winning for the second consecutive time from Kishanganj on a Congress ticket, Dr. Javed defeated JD(U)’s Mujahid Alam in a tight contest, with Akhtarul Iman of the All India Majlis Ittehad-e Muslimeen finishing third.

Born on June 17, 1963, Dr. Javed is the son of Muhammad Hussain Azad, a prominent politician who served as an MLA five times from Thakurganj constituency between 1967 and 1989.

Dr. Javed ventured into politics in 1989. He became MLA from Thakurganj in 2000 and 2005, and from Kishanganj in 2010 and 2015. His first parliamentary win was in 2019, where he was the only successful Muslim candidate from Bihar and the sole representative of the Grand Alliance.

“Dr. Javed’s victory reflects his stronghold in Kishanganj and his dedication to his constituency,” stated a local supporter. Despite his success, Dr. Javed’s influence remains largely confined to Kishanganj, with limited recognition or involvement in addressing issues faced by Muslims outside the Seemanchal region.

The political journeys of Tariq Anwar and Dr. Muhammad Javed highlight their enduring dedication to their constituencies and their significant role in Bihar’s political landscape. While their influence on broader Muslim leadership in Bihar remains limited, their victories in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections underscore their enduring commitment to their respective regions.

As Bihar continues to evolve politically, the contributions of these seasoned politicians will remain integral to understanding the state’s complex political dynamics. Their journeys, marked by resilience and dedication, offer valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs of political life in Bihar.

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