AIUDF Faces Major Setback in Assam: No Seat in 2024; Is This Beginning of the End?

The AIUDF has lost all its seat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Badaruddin Ajmal, leader of AIUDF
Badaruddin Ajmal, leader of AIUDF

New Delhi: The 2024 Lok Sabha elections have marked a dramatic shift in Assam’s political landscape, leaving the All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) without any representation for the first time since it began contesting in 2009.

The AIUDF led Badruddin Ajmal that had won two seats in the 2019 general elections experienced notable losses this year. As a prominent Opposition party in the state, it serves as a platform for millions of 'Miya' Bengali Muslims hailing from Lower Assam and the Barak Valley.

Notably, the Dhubri seat, once held by Ajmal, was decisively won by Congress's Rakibul Hussain. The latter defeated the former by a record margin of 10,12,476 votes, securing 14,71,885 votes to against Ajmal's 4,59,409.

The high voter turnout in Dhubri, at 92.08%, emphasized the electorate's decisive shift.

In Karimganj, another former stronghold of the AIUDF, Congress's Hafiz Ahmed Choudhury emerged victorious, further consolidating the Congress's position in the state.

The AIUDF's candidate in Nagaon, Aminul Islam, played a spoiler role by drawing votes away from other contenders, yet this was not enough to change the outcome.

The AIUDF’s inability to win any seats, even in Muslim-majority constituencies like Dhubri and Karimganj, indicates a substantial political realignment.

Minority votes, traditionally a stronghold for the AIUDF, appear to have consolidated behind the Congress.

Advocate Atikul from Karimganj district shed light on the voting dynamics in the region, explaining that minority votes typically split between the Congress and the AIUDF, a situation the BJP often exploits as Opposition votes get divided.

However, he noted that in this Lok Sabha election, the stakes were higher, prompting many minority voters to consolidate their support behind Congress to prevent the BJP from gaining an advantage.

This trend is reflective of broader national patterns, where minority communities have increasingly thrown their support behind the Congress, likely influenced by dissatisfaction with the current political climate and the ruling government's handling of various issues.

Interestingly, Atikul pointed out that some Muslim votes also went to the BJP this time, contributing to AIUDF's failure to win any seats.

One significant factor was the fishermen community in Lower Assam, who were promised Scheduled Caste (SC) status and other benefits in Karimganj, leading them to divert their votes to the BJP.

Despite these setbacks, Atikul expressed that the AIUDF still has a chance to revive itself in the state assembly elections.

He noted that the community often votes differently in Assembly elections compared to Lok Sabha elections, suggesting that the political landscape could shift once again when the state polls occur.

This provides a potential opening for the AIUDF to reconnect with its traditional voter base and regain its footing in Assam's political arena.

'We'll Analyse Election Outcome'

Accepting the "big blow" of losing his stronghold in Dhubri by over 10 lakh votes, Ajmal acknowledged on June 4 that it will thoroughly analyze its debacle.

Speaking at a late-night press conference on the results day, the three-time MP emphasized that despite the setback in the three Lok Sabha seats his party contested, the AIUDF is determined to make a comeback in the 2026 Assam Assembly elections.

"It is a significant blow. It will take some time to understand what went wrong. We need to investigate why the same people who elected me for three consecutive terms did not support in this election," Ajmal stated.

He stressed that the party would conduct a detailed investigation into the losses in Dhubri, Nagaon and Karimganj seats to understand and address the issues that led to their defeat.

Hussain Creates Record

As the results were declared, there were multiple constituencies where the final margin between the top two candidates was less than 10,000 votes. However, some leaders achieved overwhelming victories, breaking previous records for the highest margin of victory in a Lok Sabha election.

The previous record, set by BJP’s Pritam Munde in a 2014 bypoll in Maharashtra’s Beed, was a margin of 6.96 lakh votes.

Congress leader Hussain now holds the record for the second-largest margin of victory (10.12 lakh votes) in Lok Sabha elections history. He secured 1,471,885 votes, while the runner-up, Ajmal, received 459,409 votes.

Hussain's decisive win underscored a significant shift in voter sentiment. The constituency had witnessed a high voter turnout of 92.08%, highlighting the electorate's strong desire for change.

In Assam, the Congress party won three out of the state’s 14 seats. Overall, the party secured 99 seats in the Lok Sabha.

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