Bandipora: A young Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate won from an area considered as a militancy hot-bed in Bandipora district. Tahir Hanif secured a win in Ward 2 by securing 13 votes, his rival Congress candidate receiving zero votes.
Donning a black coat, Tahir walked leisurely into the mini-secretariat compound where the counting staff made announcement of winners over loudspeakers. Recognised by almost no one except the few party people who campaigned for him, Tahir’s victory was a surprise to many as fierce clashes had occurred near the polling station on the polling day and a BJP candidate in another ward had been injured when attacked by stones.
Tahir’s family background is humble. His father worked as a mechanic and his mother is a house maker. But the parents worked hard on the education of their children. Tahir’s two younger brothers are both doctors settled in Delhi.
Tahir himself has a BTech degree in computer engineering. He has worked in multinational companies like IBM and Unicity. He recently associated himself with BJP.
“I wanted to join politics and BJP gave me a platform,” Tahir said, adding that his family supported him despite the threats and resentment of locals.
On asking what was his aim, he replied, “I am here for development. Our locality faces so many problems. I will start by improving street lights, do something about the open garbage dumping, and the restoration of flooded, dirty drains and choked rivulets.”
He added, “It will take time for people to understand that we are here for development. Fear is still around. For all these days we were accommodated in secure locations protected by CRPF and SSB, but now I have to come out in open. I don’t have personal bodyguards or any other security but I think I need one for now, till the fear subsides.”