From Bhupen Goswami
GUWAHATI : After the bjp alliance’s victory in Sam, the exercise is now underway to decide the chief minister’s name. The BJP leadership is brainstorming for it. The party has to seal one of the names of incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and another veteran leader of the state Himanta Biswa Sarma. It was interesting that the BJP had not made Sarbananda Sonewal a face in the state assembly elections as part of its electoral strategy. The BJP alliance has retained its government by winning with a clear majority in Assam but now it faces a big challenge to elect the chief minister.According to sources, Himanta Biswa Sarma was the strongest contender for the post after sonowal did not face the polls.
The BJP leadership knew very well about Himanta Biswa Sarma, a minister in the Assam government and bjp’s trouble shooter in the Northeast, that his ground hold and popularity were much higher than that of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonewal. The party did not want any factionalism in the elections, so the party found a middle ground. Bjp did not declare any of Sonowal and Biswa Sarma as the chief minister’s face and the party entered the fray under the joint leadership of the two leaders. It was already clear from the BJP central leadership who would be the new chief minister in case of victory after the results were out. However, there is no opinion in the party on the chief minister’s name so far. Sources said it will not be easy for the party to seal anyone’s name for the chief minister.Several BJP leaders are in favour of making Sonowal chief minister once again in view of his clear image and 5-year tenure. On the other hand, leaders who favour Biswa Sarma are citing his administrative experience, strategic skills and a troublesome role for the party in the North-East.
It may be recalled that just before the 2016 assembly elections, Biswa Sarma had left the Congress hand and held the BJP’s lotus. Even at that time, he was seen as a strong contender for the chief minister’s post. But the party had sealed Sonowal’s name for chief minister after winning in 2016. Things have changed a lot in 5 years since then. Biswa Sarma has also given bjp significant success essays in many states with its strategy not only in Assam but across the North-East. According to sources, the party’s parliamentary board will meet in the next day or two to decide who will be the next Chief Minister of Assam. According to sources, Biswa Sarma wanted to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 when he was stopped by the party high command saying he was in greater need in Assam and the North East. Even before this assembly election, Biswa Sarma had appealed to the party leadership not to contest the assembly elections but the party asked him to contest the elections and the party would take a decision on you after the elections. There is no denying the possibility that the party should hand over the command of Assam to Biswa Sarma and bring Sonowal into central politics.
Sonowal had served as a minister at the Centre before becoming the Chief Minister of Assam.The party has to take a decision by looking at all the equations. This includes not only Assam but also equations of the situation in the entire Northeast and West Bengal. It remains to be seen who the current chief minister, Sonowal and Biswa Sarma, lean towards. At the moment, Biswa Sarma may be a little ahead in the race but the real picture will be clear in the party’s parliamentary board meeting itself. When asked who will be the contender for the post of Chief Minister in Assam for the time being, BJP National President JP Nadda said that we will hold a parliamentary board meeting after which a decision will be taken on who will be the Chief Minister of Assam. Meanwhile, PRIME MINISTER Modi had convened an urgent meeting on the issues of the Assam Chief Minister. But the bjp parliamentary board meeting was postponed due to the absence of national president JP Nadda. Nadda has been busy in West Bengal so far for the violence by the TMC against some BJP workers. The violence, especially after last week’s election results, BJP officials said on Thursday.