GUWAHATI: Lok Sabha member from Dhubri in Assam and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Maulana Badruddin Ajmal is under fire from the minority community and political parties for his alleged attempts to use religion to win elections in a state where polls have never been contested on religious lines. Describing the AIUDF chief as a “threat”, eight indigenous Muslim organisations announced that they would boycott him at the polls.
At a party rally in Baghbar last week, Ajmal appealed to Muslims to unite, claiming that there has been polarisation of Hindu votes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the state. Some Muslim groups and BJP have sought his arrest for “fanning communal passion”. The ruling Congress has also slammed him.
“He is communal by birth and therefore, we won’t allow him to form the government. We’ll boycott him,” said Rahamsa Ali, president of Asomiya Muslim Kalyan Parishad.
Muslim organisation All Assam Goriya Yuva Parishad said it had warned in 2005 when AIUDF was floated that the party would ring the death knell for indigenous Muslims. Ajmal did nothing positive for Muslims, alleged its president Abdul Hamid.
“With an eye on the polls, Ajmal made a call to Muslims to unite. ...Assam is a sensitive state and his utterances could fan communal passions,” said BJP’s Guwahati MP Bijoya Chakraborty. Congress accused Ajmal of planting seeds of communal politics and urged him to desist from making such statements.
In its maiden poll foray in 2006, the party won 10 of the state’s 126 seats, and bagged 18 seats in the 2011 elections. Though it won just one seat in the 2008 Lok Sabha elections, it got three of Assam’s 14 seats in 2014. Bengali-speaking Muslims, whose citizenship is increasingly being questioned, view the AIUDF as their messiah. Groups fighting the issue of illegal immigration in Assam accuse the party of working at the behest of the immigrants.