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Himanta Biswa Sarma Takes Oath as Assam's New Chief Minister

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi greets the new Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma. (PTI)

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi greets the new Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma. (PTI)

According to sources in the party, Sarma’s name was proposed by incumbent chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Himanta Biswa Sarma took oath as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam along with 13 members of his cabinet on Monday after he was elected unanimously by the BJP Legislature Party, which met in Guwahati on Sunday.

Sarma, who was the charioteer of Bharatiya Janta Party’s stride in the Northeast was administerd the oath in presence of state Governor Jagdish Mukhi, the BJP national President JP Nadda and other leaders.

According to sources in the party, Sarma’s name was proposed by incumbent chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

In the results announced for the 126-member Assam Assembly last Sunday, the BJP won 60 seats while its alliance partners AGP got nine seats and UPPL six.

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On Saturday, Sarma and Sonowal, both contenders for the top post, were in New Delhi to meet the BJP central leadership. Sarma visited Nadda’s residence, where he also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP general secretary (Organisation) B L Santhosh. A series of meetings, lasting for more than four hours, were held with Nadda and Shah with the duo, following which Sarma said that the BJP’s legislature party is likely to meet on Sunday and all questions related to the next government will be answered there. Both Sonowal and Sarma had gone together to Delhi on Saturday morning by a chartered flight and returned at night along with the central observers.

Sonowal, who belongs to Assam’s indigenous Sonowal-Kachari tribals, and Sarma, the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance, were both contenders for the top post of the Assam government. The BJP had not announced a chief ministerial candidate before the Assembly polls in Assam and speculations are rife for the last one week on who would be the next chief minister of the state.

In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP had projected Sonowal as its chief ministerial candidate and won, forming the first saffron party government in the northeast. This time, the party has been maintaining that it would decide who would be the next chief minister of Assam after the elections.

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