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Ajmal defeat has hit party morale

By PRANJAL BHUYAN

GUWAHATI, May 24 - Even as the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which was looking to play the role of �king-maker� during the government formation process, suffered a major reversal with its tally in the Legislative Assembly polls going down, the party is yet to start an analysis of its debacle or initiate the process for a meeting of its new Legislature Party.

Senior AIUDF leaders told The Assam Tribune that more than the fall in the number of seats won by it, what has affected the party�s morale has been the upset defeat of its supremo Badruddin Ajmal, who lost from Salmara South constituency.

�We are all worried. There is a sense of despondency in the party right now. The fall in the party�s tally is no doubt a setback to our ambition, but more than anything, the loss of Ajmal has been the biggest blow for us. If only Ajmal had managed to win from his constituency, we would have not worried even if our final tally had a few seats less than what we secured in the polls this time,� a senior office-bearer of the party said.

Asked when the AIUDF Legislature Party meeting is expected, the leader said, �We expect it to be held within this week. But it will only be a formality. We are more worried about the state of affairs in the party following the setback we suffered in the polls.�

Party sources said that Bilasipara West MLA Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Kasimi is expected to be elected AIUDF Legislature Party leader. Kasimi had also been holding the post in the previous Assembly for the last two years following the election of Sirajuddin Ajmal to the Lok Sabha in 2014.

Most of the newly elected AIUDF MLAs are first-timers, barring Kasimi, who has won for the third consecutive term and Aminul Ismal (Dhing) and Abul Kalam Azad (Bhabanipur) who have retained their constituencies for the second time. Jamunamukh MLA Abdur Rahim Ajmal is also technically a second-time MLA as he had won a bye-election in 2014.

�But nine of our MLAs are first-timers. We have lost in 12 of the constituencies this time where we had won in 2011. In two other constituencies, Dhubri and Jaleswar, we managed to win despite changing candidates. On the other hand, we have won from seven new seats this time,� said a leader.

AIUDF leaders said the main thing now will be to regain the support base among Muslim voters of the Brahmaputra Valley, a chunk of whom went over to the Congress this time. �One silver lining is that we have increased our vote share from 12.5 per cent in the 2011 polls to 13 per cent this time,� said a party leader.

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Ajmal defeat has hit party morale

GUWAHATI, May 24 - Even as the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which was looking to play the role of �king-maker� during the government formation process, suffered a major reversal with its tally in the Legislative Assembly polls going down, the party is yet to start an analysis of its debacle or initiate the process for a meeting of its new Legislature Party.

Senior AIUDF leaders told The Assam Tribune that more than the fall in the number of seats won by it, what has affected the party�s morale has been the upset defeat of its supremo Badruddin Ajmal, who lost from Salmara South constituency.

�We are all worried. There is a sense of despondency in the party right now. The fall in the party�s tally is no doubt a setback to our ambition, but more than anything, the loss of Ajmal has been the biggest blow for us. If only Ajmal had managed to win from his constituency, we would have not worried even if our final tally had a few seats less than what we secured in the polls this time,� a senior office-bearer of the party said.

Asked when the AIUDF Legislature Party meeting is expected, the leader said, �We expect it to be held within this week. But it will only be a formality. We are more worried about the state of affairs in the party following the setback we suffered in the polls.�

Party sources said that Bilasipara West MLA Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Kasimi is expected to be elected AIUDF Legislature Party leader. Kasimi had also been holding the post in the previous Assembly for the last two years following the election of Sirajuddin Ajmal to the Lok Sabha in 2014.

Most of the newly elected AIUDF MLAs are first-timers, barring Kasimi, who has won for the third consecutive term and Aminul Ismal (Dhing) and Abul Kalam Azad (Bhabanipur) who have retained their constituencies for the second time. Jamunamukh MLA Abdur Rahim Ajmal is also technically a second-time MLA as he had won a bye-election in 2014.

�But nine of our MLAs are first-timers. We have lost in 12 of the constituencies this time where we had won in 2011. In two other constituencies, Dhubri and Jaleswar, we managed to win despite changing candidates. On the other hand, we have won from seven new seats this time,� said a leader.

AIUDF leaders said the main thing now will be to regain the support base among Muslim voters of the Brahmaputra Valley, a chunk of whom went over to the Congress this time. �One silver lining is that we have increased our vote share from 12.5 per cent in the 2011 polls to 13 per cent this time,� said a party leader.