New Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (Image credit: ThePrint)

Himanta Biswa Sarma to take oath as new CM of Assam

As expected Himanta Biswa Sarma was on Sunday (May 9) elected as the leader of the 60-member Bharatiya Janata Party legislative party of Assam in Guwahati.

Earlier in the day, Sarbananda Sonowal submitted his resignation to the state governor Jagdish Mukhi.

To send the message that everything is all right among them, both Sonowal and Sarma arrived at the legislative party meeting in the same car. The meeting was presided over by the Assam unit party chief, Ranjit Kumar Dass, and the name of Sarma was proposed by none else but Sonowal.

The development came after the Saturday meeting the two Assamese leaders had separately in Delhi with the national president of the BJP, J P Nadda, and Union home minister Amit Shah.

Reports said that Sarma enjoys the blessing of the BJP central leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At present Sonowal may remain as a legislator, but may soon be inducted into the Union cabinet. He had already been in the Narendra Modi cabinet as sports and youth affairs minister between 2014 and 2016. 

Thus, uncertainty ends after the election of Sarma. The BJP won 60 seats while its ally Asom Gana Parishad bagged nine and the new partner in Bodoland, United People’s Party Liberal, six in the House of 126. After getting elected, Sarma soon held meetings with the leaders of AGP and UPPL.

The biggest challenge would certainly be on the corona virus front. Sarma who was both health and finance minister of Assam has till recently been underplaying the threat of COVID-19. Many experts even took him to task when last month he claimed that there was no pandemic in Assam till April 6, that is the last day of three-phase polling in the state.

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