Loksabha Election 2024: The AIUDF is eager to join the ‘India’ coalition of 26 opposition parties, including the Congress, but the leaders of the Assam Congress are opposing it. However, the Congress in Assam had started uniting opposition forces long before the formation of ‘India’. The oldest party was successful in bringing 12 opposition parties of the state under one umbrella.
The United Opposition Forum included the Left parties, Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi’s Raijor Dole, former All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leader Lurinjyoti Gogoi’s Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and others, but it lacked a major player in Assamese politics – Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
What did Aminul Islam say?
Let us inform that Mamta Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were also not given a place in the joint opposition platform. But after the announcement of ‘India’, the situation has changed to a great extent. TMC and AAP are now constituents of the opposition alliance but AIUDF is still out of the alliance.
Aminul Islam, MLA from Mankachar in Assam and AIUDF general secretary, told IANS: “Nitish Kumar, one of the main leaders of the alliance, met us in Patna a few weeks ago. Our leader Badruddin Ajmal was also present there.”
He said, “As per the advice of the Chief Minister of Bihar, we also met Sharad Pawar in Mumbai. They were very keen to have us in the alliance, but it is true that we were not invited in the subsequent meetings.” Since its formation in 2005, the AIUDF has been a major factor in Assamese politics. In the 2011 assembly elections, it became the primary opposition party in the state with 18 MLAs.
Congress and AIUDF had an alliance in the 2021 assembly elections
AIUDF’s number of seats in 2016 came down to 13. However, in the last assembly elections, Badruddin Ajmal’s party managed to win 16 seats. Later one of its MLAs resigned from the party and was re-elected on a BJP ticket.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the AIUDF won three of the 14 MP seats in Assam. In the 2019 general elections, the seats were reduced and only Badruddin Ajmal could win the party’s bastion Dhubri seat.
Congress and AIUDF formed a grand alliance to oust the BJP from power in Assam in the 2021 assembly elections. The alliance won more than 40 seats but failed to achieve the magic figure in the 126-member Legislative Assembly. Relations between the two parties further deteriorated and the Congress condemned the alliance after a hitch over cross-voting in favor of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections.
Congress is misleading Muslim voters – Aminul Islam
Aminul Islam said, “It was Congress MLAs who voted for BJP. They even declared that traitors would be punished. For more than a year and a half, Congress could not take any action against its MLAs, who voted for BJP candidate.”
He further said that at present there is about 40 per cent Muslim population in Assam. Congress has lost its base among many communities like ‘Tea Planters’, Ahoms etc. So they want to rely on Muslim votes, but minority people have full faith in Badruddin Ajmal and will vote for AIUDF only.
According to Aminul Islam, the Congress is trying to mislead the Muslim voters by saying that the AIUDF is the B-team of the BJP. He said, “We are quite sure that the Congress will fail in its strategy. The Congress has tied up with parties that have no representation in either the Assembly or the Parliament except a few. These small players cannot help them win seats… Rather, we firmly believe that the AIUDF will send at least three MPs to the Lok Sabha next year.”
The AIUDF legislator also mentioned that his party is an ally of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and would support “India” after the Lok Sabha elections. He remarked, “We are against the BJP and cannot join the NDA. Hence, we have decided to support the opposition alliance.”
Congress leader said this on AIUDF
However, Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Assembly and senior Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia said, “It is the AIUDF leaders who are misleading the people. They cannot win seats. Our state president Bhupen Bora has reiterated the same stand for the last one-and-a-half years that the AIUDF cannot be included in the opposition alliance. They tried to be part of ‘India’, but no one paid attention to them. They went to Patna and other places and had to return empty-handed.”
He also clarified that no Congress leader has approached the AIUDF to join the opposition alliance. Saikia said, “When they went to Patna and Mumbai, I firmly said that if Nitish Kumar or Sharad Pawar feel they need AIUDF in Bihar or Maharashtra to garner votes, they can forge an alliance with them in their states, but the Assam Congress believes AIUDF is a non-entity and hence there is no need to include Badruddin Ajmal in the opposition.”
read this also- Assembly Election 2023: BJP made a plan for ‘Modi Kirtan’ and ‘Rakhi dams’ for 5 electoral states, know how the campaign will run