BJP Summons Sarbananda Sonowal, Himanta Sarma To Delhi For Assam Decision

The BJP faces a tough choice in picking a Chief Minister for its Assam government.

BJP Summons Sarbananda Sonowal, Himanta Sarma To Delhi For Assam Decision

The BJP had not announced a Chief Ministerial candidate before the elections. (File)


Amid suspense over who will be the next Chief Minister of Assam, the BJP central leadership has summoned incumbent chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the most powerful minister in the state Himanta Biswa Sarma to New Delhi on Saturday for a meeting to discuss the issue.

Though the BJP won a decisive victory as results for last month’s elections were declared on Sunday, the post-poll violence in West Bengal had kept the top leadership of the party was busy, delaying a decision on Assam, party president JP Nadda told reporters in Kolkata earlier this week.

Both Mr Sonowal and Mr Sarma have been asked to reach Delhi by 10 am on Saturday. BJP sources have added that the party wants to discuss the issue face to face with both the leaders before taking a final call. This is being done to avoid any sort of factionalism in Assam BJP, they said.

The choice would be difficult as Mr Sonowal has a good image and Mr Sarma is an indispensable trouble-shooter for the party.

Mr Sonowal, who belongs to Assam’s indigenous Sonowal-Kachari tribal community, and Mr Sarma, the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance, are expected to have a meeting with BJP president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP general B L Santhosh and others on Saturday, sources said.

The BJP is also yet to hold a meeting of its parliamentary board, which normally decides key issues like who will be the chief minister of a state.

The BJP had not announced a chief ministerial candidate before the March-April polls in Assam.

In the 2016 elections, the BJP had projected Mr Sonowal as its chief minister and won the election, forming the party’s first government in the northeast.

The BJP has been maintaining that it would decide who would be the chief minister of Assam after the elections.

In the results announced for the 126-member Assam assembly last Sunday, the BJP won 60 seats and its alliance partners AGP 9 and UPPL six seats.

(With inputs from PTI)

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