On February 14, Himanta Biswa Sarma, the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor and senior cabinet Minister of Assam, labelled All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal as the ‘enemy of Assam’. He said, “Probably this is the most dangerous phase of Assam politics. He (Badruddin Ajmal) is bringing money from fundamentalist organisations. In the name of social service, he is creating a network which is not conducive for Assamese culture.”
He (Badruddin Ajmal, AIUDF MP) is bringing money from the fundamentalist organisation in the name of social service. Not as an individual but as a symbol of certain people they are our enemy: Assam Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma pic.twitter.com/RXKnYoDpqd— ANI (@ANI) February 14, 2021
Sarma was referring to allegations that various charitable services run by Badruddin Azmal are actually funded by money received from fundamentalist organisations and terror groups abroad, and they are not funded by Azmal’s business as commonly believed.
Protecting Indian and Assamese culture
Sarma said that he is an extremist in protecting Indian and Assamese culture in this land. He said that he would keep talking about identity politics till opposition leader and Lok Sabha member Ajmal is on the political scene.
He said, “I am trying to protect Indian nationalism. There have to be two extremes. So, if there is a north pole, there will be a south pole. If Badruddin Ajmal disappears, then we will also disappear. Then we will talk about development and something else. But as long as Badruddin Ajmal is there, we will talk about development and politics of identity. And if that made me an extremist, I am happy about that.”
When reporters asked him about allegations of being extreme of polarisation politics, he said, “I am an extremist in protecting Indian and Assamese culture in this land. If anybody has given me this title, kindly convey my regards and thanks to them.” He further answered the allegations that he and Ajmal are equal in their politics of polarisation. He said what Ajmal is doing is alien to Assam’s culture, on the other hand, he is trying to protect Assamese culture.
Badruddin Ajmal and his relations to controversies
Badruddin Ajmal is not a new name to controversies. His party is contesting upcoming assembly elections with Congress in the state. Sarma recently commented, “People are enraged that Congress is aligning with Ajmal, a person who has destroyed Assamese culture and ethos, captured land in Kaziranga. Congress has betrayed the people of Assam, coming generation will not spare the party.”
In January, he made allegations that if BJP comes in power again, they will close down mosques and madarsas in the state. Replying to his allegations, Sarma had said that a Maulvi’s job is to teach religion, education of students is the govt’s responsibility. He further added that if BJP comes into power again, they will ensure modern education is provided in Madarsas.
In December 2020, an investigation against Ajmal’s NGO was initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs based on NCPCR’s report that alleged around 300 children were missing from the childcare homes. The inspections were done in six childcare institutes in Dhubri, Goalpara, Hojai, Nagaon districts in Assam and Thoubal district in Manipur Between December 14 and December 18.