You have to perform and prove yourself, says youngest MP

May 22nd, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi By Khalid Akhter
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Being the son of a late Congress veteran is indeed an advantage for 26-year-old Hamadullah Sayeed, the youngest face in the 15th Lok Sabha. But the debutant MP from the union territory of Lakshadweep, realises that while his father’s name has brought him thus far, it cannot be a ticket to his political survival.

Hamadullah is the son of late Congress leader P.M. Sayeed, who had won 10 Lok Sabha polls consecutively from the Lakshadweep constituency since 1967, losing only in 2004. Incidentally, the father too had won his first parliamentary election at the age of 26.

“You have to perform and prove yourself to remain in politics. Political legacy can give you a platform, but if you don’t perform, the same people who sent you to parliament will vote against you next time. One must have the capacity to perform in politics,” Hamadullah told IANS in an interview.

He is among the 206 Congress MPs elected in the general elections, which have gone decisively in favour of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Asked what prompted him to get into politics, Hamadullah, a law graduate from Indian Law School, Pune, said: “After the defeat of my father, the sufferings of people in the constituency prompted me to get into politics and work for them.”

“Now, I have to prove my worth to people for the faith that they have reposed in me. Also, I wanted to give back this seat to the Congress.”

In 2004, P.M. Sayeed was defeated by P. Pookunhikoya of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) by a margin of just 73 votes. Lakshadweep happens to be India’s smallest union territory, situated 200-300 km off the Kerala coast in the Arabian Sea.

Hamadullah, who was associated with politics even in his student life, is the legal advisor of the Youth Congress in Lakshadweep. He believes the role of Congress general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi in initiating youths into politics has been exemplary.

“Rahulji is a visionary, he is a dynamic leader and he has proved this in these elections. His role in making the Congress win 206 seats cannot be described in words. He is trying to revive Indian politics by giving more representation to youth which makes up a large portion of the Indian population,” he said.

Hamadullah, who is the seventh among eight siblings, had his schooling at the Air Force Golden Jubilee School, Subrato Park, in Delhi before shifting to Pune.

He is single and when asked if he has a girlfriend, laughed and said “no yaar!” He does intend to get married in the near future though.

A practising Muslim, Hamadullah offers namaz regularly and believes that it brings him peace of mind and makes him disciplined.

“It brings peace to my mind and makes me more disciplined, which helps me to concentrate better on my work,” he said.

(Khalid Akhter can be contacted at khalid.a@ians.in)

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