Md. Nasirul Hoque
All India United Democratic Front (as known as AIUDF Sarba Bharatiya Sangjukta Ganatantrik Marcha) is a political party originating from Indian state of Assam. The leader of the party is Moulana Badaruddin Ajmal, present Member of Parliament. The Headquarter of the party is located in Guwahati. Moulana Badaruddin Ajmal established this party on 3 October, 2005 in Assam. On 3nd October 2005, just few months before 2006 Assam Assembly Election, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal supported by 18 NGOs, formed a political party named Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF). Maulana Baduruddin Ajmal established the AUDF party and consolidated its position in Indian politics especially in Assam. Latter on he re-launched the party in other states of India through a press meet in New Delhi on 2nd February 2009. It was formally known as AUDF. The AIUDF has been playing a significant role in the electoral politics of Assam. This paper will mainly focus the causes of the origin of AIUDF and its electoral performances.
Key words: AIUDF, Origin, electoral performance, political party etc.
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) emerged as one of the influential political parties of Assam. It was formerly known as AUDF (Assam United Democratic Front). It was formed in the eve of Assam Assembly Election, 2006 and won 10 seats of State Assembly in that election. Maulana Baduruddin Ajmal is the President of AIUDF party. The AIUDF has been playing a significant role in the electoral politics of Assam. In the Parliamentary Election, 2009 it got one seat and in the last Assembly Election, 2011 this party won 18 seats of State Assembly of Assam. In 2014 Parliamentary Election it secured 3 seats from Assam. Now it has been playing oppositional role in the politics of Assam.
The AIUDF plays a very effective role in the politics of Assam and it has been able to unite the minorities of Assam. Besides, the problems of Muslim minorities, particularly the problems of Muslim peasants of char areas were generally articulated by AIUDF. Before the emergence of AIUDF the religious minorities were merely regarded as the vote bank, particularly by the Indian National Congress party. But the AIUDF entered into the electoral sense and new articulation of vote sharing came out. For Example in 2011 election the party was able to secure 18 seats that were dominated by Indian National Congress party. Apart from the Congress, AGP and BJP had to suffer because of the emergence of AIUDF. The AIUDF in fact, stands as a parallel contestant Indian National of Congress Party among the minority voters.
Objectives of the Study:
i. To find out the causes of the origin of AIUDF in the politics of Assam.
ii. To study the electoral performance of AIUDF in the election of Assam.
The study makes use of both primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data are collected from the documents obtained from AIUDF office, members, leaders, government documents and from leaders of the political parties. The secondary data are collected from books, journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. The descriptive method and interview method are applied in this research.
Causes of the Origin of AIUDF
The Congress led UPA government at the centre appointed members of Sachar Committee and its report focused the attention of the community to issues of socio-economic backwardness and unity with the backward section of the society. Sachar Committee report has revolutionized the whole concept of the policy making for backward Muslims. Since the report the government has launched several fresh schemes which are benefiting the Muslims. But the government of Assam has not implemented any development scheme for the development of the Muslims and others backward classes of people. Sachar Committee also reports the fact that it is much more difficult for the Muslims to get loans than the non-Muslims. Combining with the facts it is known that a substantial population of Indian Muslims are artisans or small businessmen. Arguably, in order to implement the Sachar Committee Report the government should have given a decent allocation to National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC). But what a minority lover Congress Government gives is additional amount of Rs. 5 crore (Official sources). Before the formation of AIUDF the Muslim leaders and organizations have moral and reasonable support to the congress party in Assam politics but the congress government has failed to develop the Muslim community. Due to the failure of Congress to Muslims and other backward classes the AUDF emerged as a political party for the development of the Muslim community under the leadership of Moulana Badaruddin Ajmal on the eve of Assam Assembly Election 2006. It spreads all over Assam and brings faith to the Muslims and backward section of society.
The AIUDF basically is a political expression of dissatisfaction of the minorities (in Assam) in response to their systematic deprivation by the governments mainly by the congress even after more than 60 years of Indian’s Independence. The major organization behind the formation of AIUDF was Jamiot Ulama. Jamiot and Congress work together since the struggle for India’s Independence. But in late 2005 there was a growing sentiment in Assam that under the threat to their right citizenship Muslims in Assam voted for successive Congress governments but it failed to address the major critical issues of the community in Assam. These issues are rights of (patta) for the inhabitants of riverrine areas (char), rehabilitation of several past massacres i.e. Nellie (1983), Bongaigaon, Kokrajahar (1994), settlement of foreigners issues as per the Assam Accord. Issues of citizen ID cards, implementation of the district wise population pattern, reflection in service (in class III and IV posts) Act 1994, congress government promised in its election manifesto to solve this issue every time and failed to keep its promise. On the other hand, the Muslims in Assam did not get positive result but due to their support to successive congress government an impression is created that the Muslims are ‘Vote bank’ for the party.
Again the backdrop of late Maulana Assad Madani national president and Maulana Badaruddin Ajamal as state president of Jamiot Ulema came together and sought to resolve these issues with congress government headed by Tarun Gogoi. After coming to power in2001 congress government has not done anything to solve the above issues. An ultimatum was given to the congress government but there was no response from the government. So ultimately on 3 April, 2005, after mass consultation among the Muslim community leaders and the leaders of other backward communities like SC/ST, etc. a party named Assam United Democratic front was launched. It emerged as a regional political party and influenced on the people of the entire minority dominated area which was early dominated by the congress party. It has been playing very effective role in the politics of Assam. Now it is known as AIUDF (All India United Democratic front).
Electoral performance of AIUDF in Assam Politics:
The electoral performance of AIUDF is very significant and remarkable in Assam politics. The electoral performance of AIUDF is details bellow:
Performance of AIUDF in Assam Assembly Election, 2006 & 2011:
|Years||No. of seats contested||No. of seats won||Total valid votes polled||Percentage secured|
Table 1.01 highlights that in 2006 Assam Assembly Election, candidates from 28 political parties including national, regional and ethnic based political parties contested in the election. Among them AIUDF first time entered into the electoral politics of Assam Assembly Election and played very significant role in Assam politics. The AIUDF contested in 69 seats of 126 constituencies and got 10 seats in Assam Assembly Elections. The total votes polled were 11, 91,500 percentage being 9.02.
In 2011 Assam Assembly Election the performance of AIUDF was very remarkable. The AIUDF contested in 78 seats out of 126 constituencies of Assam Assembly Election and it won 18 seats. The total votes polled were 1737415 percentage being 12.57. The AIUDF emerged as the second largest political party of Assam. Now it has been playing a principal oppositional party of Assam politics.
Performance of AIUDF in Parliamentary Election, 2009 & 2014:
|Years||No. of seats contested||No. of seats won||Total valid votes polled||Percentage secured|
Table 1.02 highlights that the performance of AIUDF in 15th Lok Sabha Election, 2009 is very significant. In this election the AIUDF first time participated in the parliamentary election and got one seat from Dhubri Parliamentary constituency. In this election the AIUDF contested in 9 constituencies out of 14 Parliamentary constituencies and won one seat. The number of the valid votes polled was 19, 54,901, the percentage being 16.10.
In 2014 Parliamentary Election the performance of AIUDF was very impressive. The AIUDF contested in 10 seats out of 14 Parliamentary constituencies of Assam and it won 3 seats. The total votes polled were 2237912 percentage being 14.98.The party could secure 3seats of in 2011 Parliamentary Election, which was earlier one seat in 2009. Party president Maulana Baduruddin Ajmal was elected from Dhubri Parliamentary constituency, Sirajuddin Ajmal was elected from Barpeta Parliamentary constituency and Radheshyam Biswas won from Karimganj Parliamentary constituency for huge margin of votes. In this election the AIUDF consolidated its position very strong in all parts of Assam.
In conclusion it is clear that the AIUDF is one of the influential regional political parties in Assam politics. It emerged on 3 October, 2005 after the striking down of IMDT Act by the Supreme Court of India. It mainly emerged to protect problems of backwardness, deprivation, ‘D’ voter Issues and problems of char areas and the minorities. The electoral performance of AIUDF is very significant and remarkable. In 2006 Assam Assembly Election it won 10 seats and in 2011 Assembly Election it won 18 seats. In 2009 Parliamentary Election it won one seat and in 2014 Parliamentary Election it secured 3 seats in Assam.
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The writer is the Research Scholar, Md. Nasirul Hoque, Deptt. of Political Science, Assam University, Silchar (India)