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POLITICS: Himanta Biswa Sarma not Contesting 2021 Assam Polls?

Sarma is serving as a legislator from Assam's Jalukbari constituency from 2001 till 2015 from Congress and from May 2016 as a BJP member

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Himanta Biswa Sarma

GUWAHATI: Assam’s health, finance and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is ‘unsure’ of contesting the ensuing 2021 state polls. Sarma has been serving as a legislator from city’s Jalukbari constituency in Assam from 2001 till 2015 from Indian National Congress and from May 2016 as a BJP member

Sarma joined Bharatiya Janata Party in August 2015. He once again won the 2016 Assembly elections and was sworn in as the state’s cabinet minister on 24 May 2016.  

“It’s a big question whether I will contest the polls or not. I have not yet decided about contesting the polls next year. Only my family and the party heads will decide on it. It’s still unclear,” Sarma told media on Wednesday.

The minister’s remarks came at a time when a section of BJP members has been reportedly projecting Sarma as the next chief minister of the state replacing incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal.

Recently, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leaders also mocked Sarma as the ‘Super CM’ after the latter was allegedly making all the decisions of lockdown and COVID 19 related situations.

While asked whether he wants to become the chief minister, Sarma replied, “Let me first finalise whether I will contest the elections or not

Sarma has been perceived to have single-handedly managed the COVID 19 pandemic in the state, emerging as the face of the crisis. He has been the most visible face making all the necessary statements and seemed leading the charge.

However, this has been the general pattern ever since the BJP government came to power in Assam in 2016. The BJP leadership had also appointed him the convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and since then Sarma has been making his presence felt in all the important political events of the region. He has been also termed as a troubleshooter for the saffron camp.