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Himanta Biswa Sarma likely to become Assam's next chief minister: Report

The BJP had not announced a chief ministerial candidate before the recent Legislative Assembly elections. This had led to speculation over the last week about who would become Assam’s next chief minister.

May 09, 2021 / 08:56 AM IST
Often called a master strategist by his supporters, Himanta Biswa Sarma has been credited with establishing the BJP-led NDA’s dominance in a region that was once a Congress stronghold.

Often called a master strategist by his supporters, Himanta Biswa Sarma has been credited with establishing the BJP-led NDA’s dominance in a region that was once a Congress stronghold.

State minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is likely to be picked as the leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s legislative party in Assam and thus, the next chief minister of the state, News18 reported citing sources.

The BJP had not announced a chief ministerial candidate before the recent Legislative Assembly elections. This had led to speculation over the last week about who would become Assam’s next chief minister after the party won the polls with a clear majority on May 2.

The news report suggests that incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will himself propose Sarma’s name during the legislative party meeting scheduled for later in the day. The proposal will be backed by the BJP’s state unit chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass.

BJP’s Assam Legislature Party will meet in Guwahati at around 11 am on May 9 to effectively elect the next chief minister. Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and party General Secretary Arun Singh will be present as central observers. Baijayant Panda, BJP's Assam in-charge, will also be present.

A day ahead of the meeting, the party's central leadership had summoned Chief Minister Sonowal and Health Minister Sarma, both contenders for the top post, to New Delhi for discussions on the formation of the next government in the state.

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A series of meetings, reportedly lasting for more than four hours, were held with BJP National President JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the duo.

Sarma, whom the local media called ‘super CM’ in the previous state Cabinet because he held multiple portfolios, was already being seen as a strong contender for the chief ministerial post. As the convener of the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a coalition of non-Congress parties, Sarma wields influence across the region.

Often called a master strategist by his supporters, Sarma has been credited with establishing the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s dominance in a region that was once a Congress stronghold.
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