Flush with ambition after having tasted success in the state polls in 2011 and the panchayat polls in 2013, a fired up eight-year-old political party in Assam is eyeing the national stage on minority rights plank.
"Already many influential people from the minority communities and political parties have approached me from UP, Maharashtra, West Bengal ... to form a party for minorities on the national platform. I am optimistic, it will happen soon," Badruddin Ajmal, chief of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), told HT.
"But for that the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 would be crucial. If my party manages 4-5 parliamentary seats from Assam... we will immediately start the process for the formation of such a political party," he said. Ajmal heads the cash-rich Ajmal group of companies that sell attar perfume, oils and textiles.
There are indications that the envisaged party for minorities will also try to include all parties that share a common ideology. Already, a clutch of political parties with a pronounced minority plank has carved out certain areas of influence in many states. These include, the IUML in Kerala, the MIM in parts of Hyderabad, Telangana region and across Deccan-Maharashtra.
Since its formation in 2006, the AIUDF has gone from strength to strength, the recent indicator of its growing clout being the performance in the state panchayat polls in February where it bagged 17% of the votes polled.
With 18 MLAs and one Lok Sabha seat, the AIUDF is the main opposition in Assam having pushed out the AGP in 2011.