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Speculation Rife Over BJP’s CM Face in Assam after Himanta Biswa Sarma Gets Ticket

Speculation is rife in BJP’s Assam unit over its Chief Ministerial candidate after it decided to field state leader Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Assembly polls. The BJP has not declared current Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as its candidate for the post. Earlier, Sarma had said that he had communicated to the state leadership a year ago about his desire of not contesting the upcoming Assembly polls. It was believed that Sarma may be inducted in the Union Cabinet.

But as the BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) has approved his candidature from Jalukbari constituency in the Assam Assembly another debate has been triggered whether he will be rewarded with the post of chief minister if the party manages to win a second successive term in the state.

Sarma, a former Congress leader who joined BJP in 2015, had played a crucial role in formation of BJP government in the state in 2016. He has become one of the most prominent faces of the party in the state and whole north east region. He is also the convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and is considered to be the party’s main political brain in the area.

Assam BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass said when a government is already there, a candidate need not be announced. “When there is no government a party brings in a face by announcing a name for the post. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name was announced in 2013 before 2014 general election but it wasn’t announced in 2019 because everyone is aware that he is the face of the party,” Dass said.

Dass further stated that the BJP, hence, will not announce the name for the Chief Minister in Assam. “Media has definitely been asking me this question about the Chief Ministerial candidate but my workers have not raised this issue with me,” Dass said. A senior BJP leader said that Sarma is eyeing the post of Chief Minister and he may not be content with a ministerial post this time.

“Rather than announcing any name for chief minister, it must be discussed and announced after the Assembly poll results,” the BJP leader said.

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