Badruddin Ajmal, a scholar and businessman with roots in Uttar Pradesh, has now become a force to reckon with in poll-bound Assam.
Born into affluence, the son of Ajmal Perfumes founder Badruddin Ajmal floated his own political party – the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), now known as the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), in 2005. Notably, AIUDF is the youngest of the top five political parties in the fray in Assam.
Within a year, the Islamic theologian and philanthrope became an elected member of the Assam Legislative Assembly – by winning from two constituencies — South Salmara and Jamunamukh. He held on to the position till 2009, following which, he was elected to 15th Lok Sabha from Assam’s Dhubri constituency, by defeating Congress leader Anwar Hussain.
Two years later, in the 2011 Assembly polls, Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF won 18 seats and emerged as the largest opposition party in Assam. He was re-elected from Dhubri in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but lost the Salmara South seat to the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2016 Assam Assembly elections.
In 2020, his party, which continues to hold sway over the Muslims of Assam, announced that they would enter into an alliance with the Congress party (the Mahajoth) to defeat BJP in the ongoing 2021 Assam elections.
The net worth of Badruddin Ajmal, who is a father to six sons and one daughter – the maximum number of children any parliamentarian has at present -- is Rs 43.27 crore. He has been accused by the saffron camp of promoting enmity between two groups on grounds of religion.
Badruddin Ajmal runs the Markarul Maarif Education and Research Centre in Mumbai, which teaches English language and research skills to Madrassa students. He has also set up the Mariyam Ajmal Women’s College of Science and Technology in Assam and had been featured in the 2015-16 list of World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the 2021 Assembly elections