GUWAHATI: “A Dream Come True”: Why Himanta Biswa Sarma chosen as the next Assam CM – It’s like a dream come true for senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma. On Sunday, a week later since the Assam Assembly results were out on May 2, Sarma was named as the next Assam chief minister turning his ever-lasting desire to become the state’s chief minister- a reality.
Sarma, who crossed over to BJP from Congress before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, after his dream of becoming the chief minister of the state from Congress shattered, has finally been rewarded by the saffron camp. On Monday, he will assume office as the chief minister of Assam.
Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar who was also an observer in the BJP’s legislator party said, “Sarma was unanimously selected to lead the NDA alliance in the state due to his efficient performance over the years.”
Popularly known as ‘Mama’(maternal uncle), Sarma has been BJP’s troubleshooter for over the years and regarded as a big factor in the party’s wins in 2016 polls and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. From handling the challenges of the anti-CAA agitation and the pandemic, the former Congress leader is also the spearhead of BJP’s effort to spread its tentacles in the northeast.
Sarma has been also serving as the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a platform for the saffron camp for expanding its presence in the northeast.
However, it was not easy for BJP to replace Sonowal who has run the first BJP term in the state smoothly. “There were two factors taken into consideration. First, the party wants one of them to come to Delhi and second, the party had to decide a suitable chief minister to lead the party into the general elections three years from now,” said party sources in Delhi.
According to the sources, Sonowal, whose clean image and good governance over the last tenure have helped the party regain power in the state, was overshadowed by Sarma’s performance in tackling the difficulties of the party during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) movements in the state.
Besides, Sarma’s role in last year’s COVID containment in the state was applauded across the country giving him an edge over Sonowal. Many believed that Sarma with his chief ministerial post will be in a better position to tackle the pandemic situation once again.
Former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “It’s due to the pro-people and anti-corruption policies of the government that the people of the state have given their mandate to the NDA alliance for the second time. It’s a big responsibility for Sarma’s shoulder now to carry forward the legacy. I’m confident that with his prolonged experience in the political arena of the state, Sarma will be a fitting choice to lead the state in the next five years. I wish him all the best.”
Sonowal, former sports minister at the Centre before moving to Assam, is believed to get his prize also for vacating the CM seats and will be brought to the Centre soon, sources said