“I’m no longer interested in biz. I do not know what our revenue is. I’m told our cos grew even throughout Covid. Four of my sons are in business. I want to groom my fifth boy Mohammed Ahmed in politics”– Badruddin Ajmal
Who is Badruddin?”Fifteen years ago, former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi specifically asked that question– and kept asking it. The year was 2006. A freshly formed All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) mounted an enormous election campaign, with its creator Maulana Badruddin Ajmal pumping in money in minority-dominated pockets of lower and middle Assam. Gogoi looked out by his celebration leaders that it was an attack on their very castle. In his typically candid style, the late Congressman retorted– “Who is Badruddin?”– a concern he repeated in public forums.The AIUDF’s reply was available in the type of election outcomes– it sent out 10 MLAs to Dispur in 2006. In the 2011 surveys, its tally increased to 18, prior to slipping to 13 in 2016. Assam assembly has 126 members.Fast forward to 2021. With the northeastern state preparing for the assembly survey starting March 27, Ajmal is not only a part of Congress-led Mahajot (grand alliance) but is the main target of BJP’s mottos on suraksha (security) and sabhyata (civilisation). The ruling celebration is going to town painting Ajmal as a messiah for undocumented Muslim migrants from Bangladesh and identifying him as a risk to Assamese identity.Like him or hate him, no one can neglect him. Ajmal, 65, has actually taken centrestage in Assam Poll 2021. But who is Badruddin Ajmal? The male from Hojai in Assam wears many hats– founder of AIUDF, three-time MP and Islamic spiritual therapist– but outside these spheres, he is a perfume mogul.His household’s flagship company, Ajmal Perfumes, is headquartered in Dubai, with 270 retail showrooms spread out throughout the Middle East. A few of the raw products utilized in two of their Dubai factories are imported from their agarwood plantation in Assam.The final product, the oudh oil-based fragrance (oudh implies both agarwood and its resin), is exported to as numerous as 42 nations, according to publicly offered files plus some of the unusual interviews by Ajmal’s nephew and business COO, Abdulla Ajmal.”We are Indians however it (Ajmal Perfumes) is a UAE brand name,” said Abdulla Ajmal in an interview to the Khaleej Times on January 7, highlighting the reality that theirs is a special farm-to-fragrance business, as the oil for the perfume originates from their own plantations. In 2017, the business hosted 10 global perfumers in Assam, showcasing their oudh processing, agarwood trees and plantations.When ET Publication asked AIUDF general secretary and party representative Champak Kalita about Ajmal’s service, he stated he is authorised to speak only on celebration matters. “Ajmal saheb’s brothers, kids and nephews are all in organization. Everyone earns, Ajmal saheb invests,” he includes, providing a long list of Ajmal’s charity activities and political spends.Talking to ET Magazine over the phone from Hojai, Badruddin Ajmal states he longer has an interest in business. “I do not know what our total earnings is. I am told our companies grew even throughout Covid. Four of my children stay in business. I wish to groom my fifth son, Mohammed Ahmed, in politics,” he says.Ahmed, who is a hafiz, is the project manager of his uncle Sirajuddin Ajmal, a candidate in Jamunamukh constituency. Ajmal has 6 children and a daughter and the youngest is a college student.According to an affidavit submitted with the Election Commission of India, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha survey, Ajmal’s individual possessions were over Rs 75 crore.Publicly available files validate that Ajmal is a director of a minimum of 4 Mumbai-registered business– Ajmal Fragrances and Fashions Pvt Ltd, Ajmal Holding and Investments Pvt Ltd, Belleza Enterprises Pvt Ltd and Ajmal Biotech Pvt Ltd. In all these business, the 2nd director is his bro and former MP Sirajuddin. In another company, Ajmal Estates and Properties Pvt Ltd, Sirajuddin is a director while the second director is their senior brother, Fakhruddin.Badruddin is the third of five bros; the oldest, Amiruddin, is based in Dubai, and the youngest, Ajmal Nazirul Haque, who oversaw their operations in the Middle East, died a couple of years ago.The family’s journey to financially rewarding perfume organization started in 1950 when Ajmal’s father, Haji Ajmal Ali, travelled to Mumbai to supply agarwood and their scent Dahn Al Oudh. In Mumbai, he met a few Arabs who were in search of both spices and attar. Soon he became a leading supplier of fragrances to countries in the Persian Gulf.In 1964, Haji provided his family name Ajmal to their perfume items. In 1976, he sent his second boy, Fakhruddin, to Dubai to establish a shop in the city’s Murshid Fair area, a relocation the family combined in the 1990s when they opened one showroom after another in countries throughout the Middle East, including Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.They likewise set up a production unit in Dubai and released a restricted edition of a high-end perfume called Dahn Al Oudh Maliki Al Qadim. On the other hand, the Ajmal family’s political clout grew in the UAE.Dubai’s deputy ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the company’s 2nd production center in 2004, indicating their growing influence with the political management. Till then, Ajmal and his fragrance empire were barely known in Assam.The next year, 2005, he rupture into politics, with the starting of AIUDF. It was formed to assist individuals impacted by a Supreme Court choice to ditch the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983, a questionable law that protected undocumented migrants. Ajmal quickly turned into a villain in the majority of parts of Assam where individuals had actually vociferously demanded a repeal of the law.”Even today individuals of Assam dislike Ajmal. In upper Assam AIUDF has no base. But it has the potential to harm its partner, Congress,” says BJP MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa.Will Ajmal once again smell political success? The bottle will be uncorked on May 2.