Dhubri’s Political Tectonics Shift: Congress Stuns AIUDF, Ajmal’s Future Uncertain

TCN News

New Delhi: In a major shift in Assam’s Dhubri constituency, Congress leader Rakibul Hussain defeated All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief and former MP Badruddin Ajmal by a record margin of 10,12,476 votes, securing 14.71 lakh votes compared to Ajmal’s 4.59 lakh. This marks the second-largest victory margin in India, after Indore’s Shankar Lalwani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Support TwoCircles

Hussain’s victory is seen as a significant boost for the Congress in Assam, while AIUDF faces a tough road to recovery. This outcome raises questions about the future of Ajmal, a 74-year-old perfume baron and faith healer among Bengal-origin Muslims, who was aiming for a fourth term from Dhubri.

Ajmal first won Dhubri, a former Congress stronghold, in 2009 and retained it in 2014 and 2019 with large margins. However, as AIUDF grew stronger, the Congress lost support among Bengali Muslims.

In this election, the AIUDF also fielded candidates in Nagaon and Karimganj. In Nagaon, Congress’s Pradyut Bordoloi retained his seat, while BJP’s Kripanath Mallah won Karimganj, narrowly defeating Congress’s Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury, a former AIUDF member.

The nominations in Nagaon and Karimganj were seen as Ajmal’s attempt to weaken the Congress. Over the years, the relationship between the AIUDF and the Congress soured, turning them into rivals.

A visibly shaken Ajmal, addressing the media, vowed to analyze the reasons for the defeat and prepare for the 2026 Assembly elections. He announced a pilgrimage to Mecca and pledged to complete ongoing projects in Dhubri and Barpeta upon his return.

Ajmal acknowledged shortcomings in serving his constituency and highlighted the success of the Ajmal Super 40 coaching center, which saw over 500 students qualify for NEET, including 60 from Dhubri.

Dhubri, with a rich history and diverse demographics, has seen little development over the past 15 years. While talking to The Print, political analyst Adip Phukan attributes Ajmal’s defeat to his failure to bring necessary development and the emergence of an educated electorate seeking better representation.

The dissatisfaction among East Bengal-origin Muslims, subjected to racial slurs and seeking to assert their identity as Indians, also played a role.

He noted that Ajmal’s alienation of this community and his perceived radical stance contributed to his loss.

Noted author Harekrishna Deka explained that Assamese Hindus are not antagonistic towards immigrant Muslims as long as they integrate with the larger Assamese community. However, Ajmal’s separate political identity and perceived alliance with the BJP alienated many voters.

Both Phukan and Deka believe AIUDF will struggle to recover before the 2026 elections, with some MLAs potentially defecting to the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) or the Congress. The Congress now has an opportunity to regain support among both Assamese nationalists and the immigrant Muslim population, but nothing is certain yet.