Ending months of speculations and rumours, the Bharatiya Janata Party has selected assembly speaker Ranjit Das to replace Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as chief of the party’s Assam unit.
“BJP national president Amit Shah has appointed Ranjit Das as the party’s Assam unit president. The decision will come into effect immediately,” stated BJP’s national general secretary Arun Singh in a statement.
The two-time legislator from Sorbhog in Barpeta district, who had been elected unanimously as Speaker of Assam’s 14th legislative assembly in June this year, is at present in England on tour.
The 51-year-old is a former Indian Information Service (IIS) officer who also used to work as a journalist with various English and Assamese dailies for nearly a decade.
With a masters’ degree in botany from Gauhati University, Das had also worked as a lecturer. He had joined the BJP in 1992 and had held various positions in district and state committees before becoming Speaker.
He was elected to the assembly for the first time in 2011.
Das’s selection had the backing of Sonowal and also Himanta Biswa Sarma, a senior minister in Assam’s first BJP-led government.
“My congratulations to Shri Ranjit Das, MLA on being appointed president of @BJP4Assam and gratitude to @BJP4India president Shri @AmitShah,” Sarma tweeted.
Das’s name for the post was doing rounds since October. He will take charge once he arrives back from England.
Fresh speculations have now started on who would assume Das’s post as speaker of the assembly.