Assam CM-elect Himanta Biswa Sarma to take oath today
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Himanta Biswa Sarma will be sworn-in as the new chief minister of Assam at 11:30am on Monday, and will become the 15th chief minister of the northeastern state. Sarma, who was on Sunday elected "unanimously" as the leader of the BJP’s legislature party in Assam, will be administered the oath of office by governor Jagdish Mukhi at Guwahati’s Srimanta Sankaradeva International Auditorium.
“With fragrance of Assam in my heart and love of my wonderful people in veins, I offer my deepest gratitude to you all. I would not have been what I am had it not been for your pious faith in me. On this day, I vow to work with and for each one of you with greater passion,” the Assam chief minister-elect tweeted on Sunday evening, hours after his name was announced for the state’s top post by Union agricultural minister Narendra Singh Tomar, one of the two central observers appointed by the BJP for Assam.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sarma added, “How enormously blessed I feel honourable PM Modi for your faith in me. This is the biggest day in my life, and I so fondly cherish your generous affection. I assure you, we shall leave no stone unturned to carry forward your vision of taking Assam and the northeast to greater heights.”
A former Congress leader who joined the BJP in 2015, Sarma will succeed party colleague Sarbananda Sonowal, who headed the BJP’s first government in Assam. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed its maiden government here after winning the 2016 assembly elections, and Sonowal, then the Union minister for sports and youth affairs, was handed the top job.
Sarma, who is also the convenor of the North Eastern Democratic Alliance (NEDA), played an instrumental role in the BJP’s win in the recently held assembly elections in Assam, the polling for which was held in three phases, on March 27, April 1 and April 6. The BJP won 60 of the 93 seats it contested on, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI) website, and, together with its allies, won 75 seats, comfortably crossing the majority mark of 64 in the 126-member assembly. The counting of votes for all 126 constituencies took place on May 2.
In the Sonowal-headed government, Sarma held several key portfolios, including health and finance.