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Congress gets AIUDF to woo Muslims in Uttar Pradesh

For the crucial assembly election in Uttar Pradesh that has a bearing on the UPA government at the Centre, the Congress is set to get support from its main political opponent in Assam—Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).

india Updated: Jan 05, 2012 15:00 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times

For the crucial assembly election in Uttar Pradesh that has a bearing on the UPA government at the Centre, the Congress is set to get support from its main political opponent in Assam—Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).

The AIUDF, which enjoys considerable clout among the state’s minority community, will campaign for the Congress in UP where 18% voters are Muslim. Ajmal told HT over phone: “Our party has decided to lend our support to a national party in the upcoming UP election. Obviously, we can’t support the BJP. That means, we are ready to campaign for the Congress.”

In Assam, AIUDF is the largest opposition party with 18 MLAs. In 2007 assembly polls, the AIUDF had tied up with some local parties and contested the election. To give its party a national tag before the 2007 polls, Ajmal even renamed it as AIUDF.

It was earlier known as Assam United Democratic Front. The coalition, however, had failed to make any mark.

“This time we are not fielding any candidate, but campaigning for others,” said Ajmal, who is also a member of the executive council of Darul Uloom of Deoband, an influential religious and academic Islamic body.

The Congress has been out of power since 1989.

Ironically, when the opposition party in Assam is standing beside the Congress, its ally in the UPA—Trinamool Congress—is set to fight UP polls alone and contest in at least 50 seats.

First Published: Jan 05, 2012 00:33 IST