Badruddin Ajmal , patriarch of India’s richest agar oil exporting family and chief of AIUDF, addressed election rallies in Assam on Tuesday.
Hindustan Times reports about the election rallies and meetings of various political leaders extensively under its Follow the Leader coverage.
Here are the highlights of HT’s coverage of Ajmal’s rallies in Assam on Tuesday.
4:45pm: Ajmal reaches Salmara South , to sign off day with rally in Dhubri on Bangladesh border
3:50pm: Ajmal did his rally amid heavy rains in Kokrajhar
Watch: Seal the border with Bangladesh, says Ajmal
3:10pm: Highlights of Ajmal’s speech at Gossaingaon
- Profiles of our candidates show that AIUDF is a secular party.
- It will be difficult for any party to form government in Assam without our help
3pm: Ajmal reaches Gossaingaon
2:30pm: Highlights of Ajmal’s speech at Golakganj
- If there are Bangladeshis in Assam, shoot them. But don’t harass genuine citizens of the country.
- They see a man with skull cap, beard and lungi and think he is ‘Bangladeshi’
Ajmal reaches Golakganj
Ajmal: No poll agreement with Congress and BJP in Assam
1:15pm: Highlights of Ajmal’s speech at Tupaimari, Boko
- BJP and Congress are painting us communal but AIUDF is not only about Muslims
- Boko is an SC reserved seat and sitting MLA is AIUDF’s Gopi Nath Das seeking re-election
Ajmal reaches Tupaimari in Boko for the first election rally today.
12:30: Ajmal on the issue of Bangladeshi citizens in Assam
- No government formation is possible without AIUDF in Assam
- Seal the border with Bangladesh, damands Ajmal.
- Ajmal to HT reporter: Our party was the party which asked the government to seal the border with Bangladesh.
- Ajmal to HT reporter: All Bangladeshi citizens staying in Assam will have to go from here.
- Ajmal to HT reporter: Assam accord came into existence on March 25, 1971. Every Bangladeshi citizens who came in Assam after the day should go back to their own country.
12pm: Ajmal is to address an election rally at Boko, the first rally venue 40km west of Guwahati.
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) legislator Gopi Nath Das is seeking re-election from this constituency that showcases Ajmal’s bid to remove the pro-minority tag from his party. Das’ main rivals are Nandita Das of Congress and Jyoti Prasad Das of Asom Gana Parishad, a BJP ally.
Boko has 1,97,772 voters. It will go to polls on April 11 - the second and the last phase of the assembly elections.
Ajmal seems to be in a hurry to be the kingmaker in the tug-of-war between the ruling Congress and challenger BJP to form the next government.
Whether or not Ajmal becomes the kingmaker, he has kept everyone guessing about his strategy this time. He has been central to the Congress and BJP’s bid to come across as more nationalist than the other to cater to the indigenous voters.
The two parties have accused each other of having struck a secret deal with Ajmal. That, in a way, has underlined Ajmal’s importance in the politics of Assam.
Ajmal, who has been travelling in a chopper, has a busy campaign schedule on Tuesday. Apart from Boko, he also visited Golakganj.
Golakganj borders West Bengal and Bangladesh and is known for the Ramrai Kuti Satra, in the list of Vaishnava monasteries battling encroachment by migrants. Muslims constitute a large portion of the constituency’s 1,77,078 voters.
The BJP had won this seat in 2001 before controversial Congress leader Abu Taher Bepari won the next two. Last year, Bepari joined the BJP but has not been given a ticket this time.
The AIUDF candidate here is Safer Ali Ahmed. His main rivals are Abdus Sobhan Ali Sarkar of Congress and Ashwini Ray Sarkar of BJP.
Dhubri, bordering Bangladesh, is a Sikh pilgrimage because of the Gurudwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra. It is also a metaphor for underlining the gravity of the influx issue in Assam.
The AIUDF has won this seat since its debut 2006 polls. The party has fielded Najrul Hoque, whose prime rivals are Abedur Zaman of Congress and Debamoy Sanyal of BJP. Dhubri has 172,563 voters.