Himanta Biswa Sarma will be the new Assam Chief Minister. He was unanimously elected as leader of the BJP legislature party during a meeting in Guwahati on Sunday.
Confirming the development, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said: “BJP President JP Nadda has sent me and Arun Singh to felicitate and conduct this meet to choose the next chief minister for Assam. Sarbananda Sonowal and other leaders proposed a single name — Himanata Biswa Sarma. I elect Himanata Biswa Sharma as the next CM for Assam.”
Earlier in the day, former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal met the Governor to submit his resignation.
In his last term, Sarma handled key portfolios like Health, Finance, Public Works Department and Education.
Sarma is credited with ensuring the BJP’s return to power in the just-concluded assembly election. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance secured 75 seats while the ‘grand alliance’ led by the Congress won just 50 seats in the elections to the 126-member assembly.
A former Congress heavyweight, Sarma had quit his ministerial post after party leader Rahul Gandhi reportedly did not make him the chief minister despite his claim of support from 52 legislators in July 2014.
Sarma joined the BJP a year before its historic victory in 2016, which brought an end to 15 years of Congress rule.
The BJP made him the convener of the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance, a coalition of non-Congress parties.
Over the years, Sarma is credited with establishing NDA’s dominance in the once Congress-dominated northeastern region.