SIWAN: Siwan was once the stronghold of her strongman husband, Mohd Shahabuddin, who was elected to the Lok Sabha four times. With Shahabuddin now incarcerated, Hena Shahab, 49, is “trying to fill the vacuum”, as she puts it.
Hena, who was defeated by the BJP candidate last time, claims her husband wanted to join the Army but was framed in a false case in 1986, which changed his life.
Entering the poll fray was not a matter of choice for her; she was forced into it after her husband’s conviction. “Call it destiny. It was never a choice. Samay sab sikhata hai (Time teaches everything),” she said. “I lost in 2009 and 2014. This time I’ll win,” she said.
How does she feel to be called a don’s wife? “He was never the don as projected by his adversaries. He saw to it that whoever came to him gets justice. It’s out of respect and affection that people in Siwan called him ‘Saheb’, not ‘Sultan’,” she said. Hena denied she was a “dummy” candidate and said she hadn’t communicated with her husband in months.