Sonowal, Himanta Sarma reach Delhi amid suspense over Assam CM
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, notably the most influential Minister in the State Cabinet, today flew down to national capital Delhi to meet the top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The high-profile meeting comes amid growing suspense over who would become the next Chief Minister of the north-eastern state. Here are more details on this.
They will meet with JP Nadda, Amit Shah, others
Sonowal and Sarma left Guwahati in the same chartered flight at eight this morning and reached New Delhi around 10 am, reports say. Both the leaders are expected to hold a meeting with BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP General Secretary BL Santhosh, according to party sources. It remains unclear whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be present there.
Why is the BJP facing a dilemma?
The BJP central leadership wants to discuss the issue in-person with both the leaders before taking the final call, party sources told the media. This is aimed at avoiding any chance of factionalism in the Assam BJP, they said. Both the leaders are crucial to the saffron party - Sonowal enjoys a good image while Sarma has remained its top strategist in the northeast.
In 2016, BJP dethroned Congress to form government in Assam
In the 2016 Assam elections, the BJP had projected Sonowal as its candidate for the Chief Ministerial post and won the election. The party dethroned the Indian National Congress, which had been in power since 2001, and formed its first government in northeast India. This year, however, the BJP said it would announce the Chief Minister after the election results.
The BJP-led alliance won 75 seats this year
The 2021 Assam Assembly elections were held in three phases from March 27 to April 6. Votes were counted on Sunday. The BJP won 60 seats, its alliance partner AGP bagged nine, and another ally UPPL won six. Meanwhile, the Congress party-led alliance won 50 seats. The remaining one seat was won by an independent candidate.