The Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the West Bengal elections prompted her to choose Himanta Biswa Sarma as the next Chief Minister of Assam. The party is now weighing various options to “suitably accommodate” outgoing CM Sarbananda Sonowal.
Sarma will be sworn in as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam at 12 noon on Monday. The oath taking ceremony will be held at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, a cultural complex in Guwahati. BJP National President JP Nadda, Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) Dr. Jitendra Singh, Chief Minister of neighboring states like Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya are expected to participate in the event.
Sarma, a BJP troubleshooter and a man from the Northeast, was instrumental in the party’s two consecutive victories in Assam. And after its humiliating defeat in West Bengal, the party brass may feel that it should be given a free-hand to strengthen the BJP’s position in the region ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Sarma, who was a strong contender for the post of CM, has the support of most of the BJP MLAs apart from his colleagues, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and tribal organization, United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL).
Despite Sonowal’s clean image, Sarma’s impressive performance over the last five years as a senior minister and his ability to frame result-oriented strategies have made him indispensable to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.