With the Assam Assembly elections approaching, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which has stitched an alliance with the Congress party hoping to win Assam, has taken out its first list of 16 candidates. Out of these 16 seats, in five seats AIUDF will be in a ‘friendly’ fight with its ally, the Congress party.
Badruddin Ajmal’s brother Sirajuddin Ajmal will contest from Jamunamukh assembly constituency while sitting MLAs Hafiz Basir Ahmed will fight from Bilasipara West, Nazrul Haque from Dhubri, Nizanur Rahman from Gauripur, Aminul Islam from Dhing, Dr Rafiqul Islam from Jonia, Nizamuddin Choudhury from Algapur, Sujam Uddin Laskar from Katlichera.
Apart from these seats, the AIUDF had also announced the party candidates for Mankachar, Bhawanipur, Sonai assembly constituencies and the party will ‘friendly’ contest in the minority-dominated seats of Sarukhetri, Jaleswar, Dalgaon, Chenga and Bagbor seats.
Basically, it appears that the competition in these 5 seats is going to be a mere formality with the AIUDF candidates expected to give their allies a complete walk-over in these five constituencies.
Of the five seats, four have sitting Congress MLAs. In the fifth seat of Jaleswar, the current MLA is of the AIUDF, Sahab Uddin Ahmed, but the contestant this time is a new face, Rafiqul Islam.
After the list was released, the AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal said that the party has put 11 candidates in alliance with its partners while in five seats, it has decided to go for a friendly contest.
Ajmal had earlier told media that the party will make “sacrifices” to make the grand alliance work.
In 2019 also, All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal had fielded candidates from only three seats out of a total of 14 seats in Assam, to help the Congress party in the other 11 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress was, however, reduced to its worst-ever tally with bagging only three seats. The All India United Democratic Front won 1 seat while BJP took a complete sweep by winning nine of the 14 seats. The remaining one was taken by an Independent contestant.
Congress ties up with Badruddin Ajmal for the 2021 Assam Assembly Elections to keep BJP at bay
Traditionally a Congress stronghold, BJP came to power for the first time in Assam, that too with a thumping mandate, in the year 2016. BJP’s overwhelming success in the last Assembly elections left the Congress party reeling in shock. Now, with the 2021 Assembly elections approaching, the desperate Congress is leaving no stone unturned to woo the people of Assam and perhaps there is no better way to consolidate Muslim votes than stitching up an alliance with the Islamist party.
For the uninitiated, the Congress and the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had in the second week of January announced a pre-poll alliance for the Assam assembly election scheduled for April. Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia had then said that the Congress party was open to joining hands with all those who opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act and insisted that an alliance with AIUDF alone may benefit the party.
The BJP, for its part, had slammed the alliance and asserted that it revealed the anti-Assamese nature of the party. The BJP also called it “conspiracy hatched to harm the State”.
AIUDF and its controversies
It is pertinent to note here that Badruddin Ajmal and his party AIUDF have been marred with various controversies and accused of carrying out several illegal activities in the past.
Recently, while speaking on bringing strict laws to deal with the emerging menace of Grooming Jihad (Love Jihad) in Assam, Health and Education Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had accused Badruddin Ajmal’s party and supporters of victimising young and vulnerable girls of Assam. He had claimed that the Assamese daughters are becoming victims of “Ajmal’s culture” on Facebook. He emphasised that Islamic fundamentalists, encouraged by leaders like Badruddin Ajmal have been promoting the targeting of Hindu Assamese girls by Muslim men, often under false identities.
Last year, Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat had cited the example of AIUDF, to explain the rapid influx of illegal Bangladeshi Muslims in North-east.
In 2012, AIUDF was accused of providing training to jihadist forces in Assam.