Like the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen in Bihar, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) appears to have become the bugbear for political parties in poll-bound Assam.
Mainstream and regional parties, old and new, have tagged the AIUDF led by perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal as the ‘B-team’ of each other with the Assembly elections due by May .
The AIUDF, seen as pro-migrant Muslims in the State polarised between the indigenous and the outsiders, has also become a factor in differences cropping up within the parties expected to form a grand alliance for stopping the BJP from returning to power.
The BJP heads the three-party alliance government in Assam. The other two are the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bodoland People’s Front.
“The AIUDF becomes the B-team of whichever party rules Assam or Delhi, whether it is the Congress or the BJP,” said Adip Kumar Phukan, spokesperson of Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP), formed by two major students’ organisations in the State.
“Badruddin Ajmal survives on the politics of polarisation. He helps the party in power to save his business interests,” said Bhasco D. Saikia, leader of Raijor Dal, another new regional party formed by several NGOs, including that of jailed activist Akhil Gogoi.
Their views on the AIUDF followed Mr Ajmal’s assertion that Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was financing the new regional parties with the objective of dividing the Muslim voters who have been backing the AIUDF.
Consolidating the Muslim votes, a potent electoral force in at least 45 of Assam’s 126 Assam’s Assembly seats, had been the primary reason why the Congress and AIUDF have been trying to forge a pre-poll alliance.
Congress chief’s appealState Congress president Ripun Bora has appealed to the AJP, the Raijor Dal and others such as the Anchalik Gana Morcha to join the proposed “grand alliance”. While the AIUDF’s allegation is believed to have made the regional parties drift away, the Left Front has been sceptical about the fate of the alliance.
“The elections are drawing near but the blueprint of the grand alliance is yet to be made. Whether or not we remain in the alliance will depend upon how things pan out,” said CPI(M) leader Suprakash Talukdar.
The CPI’s Munin Mahanta echoed him.
The BJP too has been using the AIUDF as a bogey by projecting the 2021 polls as the fight between the indigenous and the “Mughals”. The AIUDF factor has not left the Congress either; many leaders in eastern Assam have been revolting against the party leadership for the “ill-advised” idea of a pre-poll alliance with Mr. Ajmal’s party.
Courtesy – The Hindu