Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal on Friday accused the BJP of employing a “dirty formula to divide”, and said that his party, the AIUDF, will make “sacrifices” with regards to the alliance with the Congress to oust the saffron party in the state Assembly elections, expected to be held in April.
The AIUDF enjoys a large support base amongst Assam’s Bengali-origin Muslim community, pejoratively referred to as ‘Miyas’. Ajmal—a three time MP from Dhubri constituency—and the AIUDF have constantly been attacked by the BJP over the last few months, with senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently calling the perfume baron an “enemy” of Assam.
Speaking to The Indian Express over the telephone, Ajmal said: “It’s a very dirty formula by Himanta Biswa Sarma. A formula to divide people of Assam. They should actually focus on issues and their work — but unfortunately they have not done any good work in the last five years, and therefore they take my name.”
He added: “The BJP has to understand that people are not fools. It’s like you keep saying the tiger is coming, the tiger is coming …but Badruddin Ajmal is not a tiger. Badruddin Ajmal is a human being.”
On being asked about Sarma’s “enemy” tag, Ajmal said, “Himanta Biswa Sarma has to make someone a villain in this election and it cannot be an unrecognisable face. So he has made Badruddin Ajmal the villain.
“He [Sarma] is doing all this to only become the Chief Minister of Assam. But what he is saying is not true — the AIUDF is not doing communal politics. And we will not let him succeed in his plan to communalise and divide Assam,” he added.
After the Congress and AIUDF announced a tie-up for the Assembly elections, media reports raised questions on how the two parties will decide on sharing of seats, especially in minority-dominated areas.
In response, Ajmal said, “The Congress-AIUDF alliance is going great. In seat-sharing, we of course are ready to make sacrifices. The sacrifice has to be made because removing BJP from power is our one and only goal right now.”
On whether the alliance has a Chief Ministerial face for the elections, Ajmal said: “We have not discussed anything about the CM face. In any election, the Congress does not pre-decide the CM face. As for the AIUDF, we have already said we do not want the position of the CM or the deputy CM…. As I said, we are ready to make sacrifices.”
Incidentally, earlier this week, Sarma seemingly ruled himself out of the reckoning for the Chief Minister’s post, saying he is not keen to contest the Assembly elections and wants to continue working for the BJP.
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