Himanta Biswa Sarma to take oath as Assam CM tomorrow
Senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma is set to be the next Chief Minister of Assam replacing incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal at the top post. Sarma will take oath as CM on Monday. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced the decision Sunday after the 60 newly-elected legislative members of the Assembly unanimously elected Sarma as the party leader at the Library Auditorium in Guwahati.
No other name was proposed in the meeting, says Tomar
Sarma's name for the CM position was proposed by Sonowal and seconded by BJP state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass. It was also supported by the newly-elected MLA from Halflong, Nandita Gorlosa. "...No other name was suggested. Since the name of Sarma, a senior minister... was the only one that was proposed, he is unanimously chosen as the legislature party leader," said Tomar, reported HT.
Sonowal submitted his resignation to Assam Governor earlier today
Sarma to take oath as CM tomorrow noon
Sarma is expected to take oath as the CM at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati at 12 pm on Monday. Meanwhile, Sonowal is likely to return to the Centre where he had held the sports portfolio before becoming Assam's CM, The Times of India reported.
Sarma, Sonowal were summoned to New Delhi on Friday
Amid speculations over the next Assam CM, the BJP Central leadership had summoned both Sonowal and Sarma to the national capital on Friday, in a bid to avoid factionalism in the state BJP. On Saturday, BJP president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh held separate meetings with them. Both leaders returned to Guwahati the same night.
Sarma a key political figure in the Northeast
As the convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a BJP-led alliance of regional parties in India's Northeast region, Sarma has been credited for the BJP forming governments in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Tripura. He is also said to have played a huge role in the party's victory in the state Assembly polls of 2016 and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Applauded for handling COVID-19, introducing women-centric schemes
Sarma garnered mass appreciation for his management of the COVID-19 outbreak in Assam as its Health Minister. He visited patients in hospitals, supervised the setting up of COVID Care Centers, and ensured that those infected were being provided adequate care. He was also allotted Finance, Education, and Public Works Department (PWD) portfolios in the Sonowal Cabinet and has introduced crucial welfare schemes including Orunudoi.
Sarma has been politically active for over 20 years
Sarma started his political career in 1996 and was elected as the Jalukbari MLA on a Congress ticket in 2001. After serving as a minister for three consecutive terms, he defected to the BJP in 2015, following differences with then Assam CM Tarun Gogoi.
Assam Assembly elections: BJP created history in 2021
The BJP created history in the recent Assam Assembly elections by becoming the only non-Congress government to win consecutive terms in the state. In the 126-member Assembly, the ruling National Democratic Alliance won 75 seats and the Congress-led 'Mahajot' won 50. Activist Akhil Gogoi—currently jailed on charges of sedition and inciting violence during anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests—won the remaining seats.