GUWAHATI, May 24 - Split in the minority community votes and the BJP�s �success� in polarising the electorate on religious lines are major reasons for the All India United Democratic Front�s (AIUDF) lacklustre performance in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the Badruddin Ajmal-led party said today.
AIUDF, which had secured three seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, suffered a massive setback this time and the party was able to win from only one constituency.
Party supremo Ajmal retained his Dhubri seat. However, AIUDF lost from both Barpeta and Karimganj, which it had won in the previous parliamentary polls.
�In Karimganj, there was division in the minority community votes between us and the Congress. On the other hand, the BJP�s vote bank remained intact. In Barpeta, we lost a substantial segment of our traditional support base. The Congress was able to get support of more minority community voters and it also received a significant number of votes from among the Bengali Hindu electorate, which led to its victory from Barpeta,� AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam told The Assam Tribune today.
He admitted that �tactical voting� by minority community voters helped the Congress in Barpeta.
�However, in Dhubri constituency we have been able to retain our support base,� said Islam, who is known as a confidante of AIUDF chief Ajmal.
Islam added, �BJP was successful in playing the politics of fear and division. It succeeded in polarising the voters on religious lines. I admit that we failed to counter the BJP�s propaganda.�
AIUDF also blamed the main Opposition party Congress for the outcome of the elections.
�Congress party�s wrong policies and its refusal to go for alliance with other Opposition parties resulted in division of anti-BJP votes,� said Islam.
He admitted that the AIUDF and other Opposition parties failed to capitalise on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-2016, or CAB.
�The BJP was able to spread its divisive and communal ideas. This Lok Sabha polls was held on the issue of Modi�s personality, while issues of bread and butter and economy and infrastructure took a back seat,� maintained the AIUDF leader.
Asked if the party is ready to again explore the option of joining hands with the Congress, Islam said, �We have been saying since long that all the anti-CAB and anti-communal forces should unite to defeat the BJP. Unfortunately, that did not happen. We want to say this again that our doors are still open for all secular forces.� He said that AIUDF will introspect on the poll results and the party�s dismal performance.
�We will have to go back to the grass-root and work for rejuvenating our organisation. We will also continue to play the role of a constructive Opposition,� said Islam. AIUDF had won three Lok Sabha seats � Dhubri, Karimganj and Barpeta � in the 2014 elections. This time the party contested from only those three seats and refrained from fielding its candidates in other constituencies.
In Dhubri, Ajmal emerged as the winner by defeating his nearest Congress rival Abu Taher Bepari by a margin of over 2.26 lakh votes.
However, in Karimganj constituency, AIUDF�s sitting MP Radheshyam Jadhav lost the election. He was defeated by BJP candidate and Deputy Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly Kripanath Mallah by a margin of over 38,000 votes.
In the Barpeta seat, AIUDF�s Rafiqul Islam could only manage to secure the third position, behind the candidates of the Congress and the AGP.