Nagarbara: Come election time and perfume baron Maulana Badruddin Ajmal takes on another avatar. At rallies, voters press the chief of the All India United Democratic Front for “healing” water.
As a result, Ajmal, who addresses three or four election rallies a day, also has to make time after prayers to “bless” a large number of containers of water brought by his followers, who believe it has a healing effect. The industrialist and cleric believes that he will have a greater role to play in the formation of the government this time around, with the BJP seeking to capitalise on anti-incumbency in a state that has been ruled by the Congress for 15 years.
Ajmal, 66, is counting on his ability to pull in big crowds to play kingmaker when the votes are counted on May 19 after the two-phased polling in Assam.
The first phase was held on April 4 and the second is scheduled on April 11.
The AIUDF has seat-sharing arrangements with the Janata Dal (U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Ajmal now says he is ready to join hands with the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bodoland People’s Front if they leave their alliance with the BJP. “AIUDF can form the government with the AGP and BPF minus BJP. AIUDF and its allies are going to improve their tally this time. No government formation is possible without our help,” Ajmal said.