By Shabina Akhtar
Jaipur: Zahida Khan, a Meo-Muslim looks all set to create a record, if she manages to bag a ministerial post in the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government of Rajasthan.
In 2008, when she contested the first time assembly polls from Kaman constituency, she won to become the first woman MLA from the Meo-Muslim community. Zahida was elevated to the position of Chief Parliament Secretary. She also happens to be the first woman from the community to be appointed as the General Secretary of All India Mahila Congress. Given the popularity that Zahida enjoys in the area, it was but obvious that she would be winning with a huge margin. And she did, defeat her BJP opponent by a huge margin of 39,621 votes. Interestingly, Zahida, popularly dubbed as the daughter of Mewat, has secured the maximum number of votes “ 1,10,789, which is way higher than the total votes that what seasoned politicians like Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have got.
A law graduate from Delhi University, Zahida while speaking to eNewsroom, said, “We have always believed that education can bring about a big change in the community. Hence, my focus, like my earlier stint will be on the promotion of women’s education.” On being asked about what kind of work she and her daughter, Shahnaz Khan, who is also the sarpanch of their village do for the welfare of women, she reiterated, “We have always maintained that educating women is the only way to empower them. Through education only, they will be able to exercise their right. Hence, we will be focusing on education of the girl child.” She then added, “Water remains to be a major issue in this part of the state. We still don’t have access to soft water. Around 200 villages in this area still have to survive on hard water. Given our proximity to river Chambal, I will be focusing on the renewal of the Chambal Pariyojna or the Chambal Project, so that the water of the river reaches the villages.”