After a lot of discussions and speculations, the Bharatiya Janata Party announced on Sunday that Himanta Biswa Sarma will succeed Sarbananda Sonowala as the new chief minister of Assam.
The announcement was made after a legislature party meeting in Guwahati. Narendra Singh Tomar who handled the elections of legislative party in Assam along with general secretary Arun Singh made the public announcement.
BJP had kept the Chief minister candidate’s position undecided throughout the election campaign. Both Sonowala and Sarma had put equal efforts to edge BJP to victory. Finally, their efforts were fruitful and BJP won 60 seats and its alliances Assam Gan Parishad and UPPL won nine and six seats respectively.
While the incumbent chief minister Sonowala is considered as a leader with a clean image, Himanta is known as a mass leader. He is accredited with being the architect who brought north-east states under the party umbrella.
Himanta had quit the Congress government of Tarun Gogoi in 2015. In a very short time, he became the chief strategist of BJP in Assam. He was one of the reasons the party won a splendid victory in Assam breaking the three term strike of Congress. He became the chief convener of the North- East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a BJP led front. Apart from his excellent work as the health and finance minister in Assam, he managed the anti-citizenship Amendment protests and the Covid-19 pandemic very well.
After the second victory in the state elections last week, both Sonowala and Sarma met BJP president J P Nadda and Home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Saturday. After three 4 hour long meetings with top leaders of the party, Sonowala proposed the name of Himanta Sarma for the post. Prime minister Narendra Modi and other MLA gave a nod for this proposal.
Sonowala on Sunday presented his resignation to Governor Jagdish Chandra Mukhi. He is likely to be among the Union cabinet ministers according to some reports.
Lawyer turned politician Himanta Sarma, 52, will assume the post of Chief minister tomorrow.