Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn in as 15th Chief Minister of Assam
BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma taking the oath of office as the Chief Minister of Assam, in Guwahati on May 10, 2021.Photo: Twitter/IANS

Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn in as 15th Chief Minister of Assam

Guwahati, May 10, 2021

BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma was sworn in as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam here on Monday, a day after he was named as the leader of the party's newly-elected legislators in the state.

Sarma was administered the oath of office by Governor Jagdish Mukhi at the famous Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati.

Besides the Chief Minister, 13 newly-elected MLAs of the BJP and its allies, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People Party Liberal (UPPL), were also sworn in as Ministers.

The 13 Ministers are Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Atul Bora, U. G. Brahma, Parimal Suklabaidya, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Keshb Mahanta, Ranoj Pegu, Sanjay Kishan, Jogen Mohan, Ajanta Neog, Ashok Singhal, Pijush Hazarika and Bimal Bora.

Neog, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) weeks before the recently-held Assembly polls, was a Minister in the previous Congress governments headed by the Tarun Gogoi.

State BJP President Dass, Pegu and Singhal have been inducted as Ministers for the first time.

BJP President J. P. Nadda, former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Ministers from other northeastern states and a host of top dignitaries were present in the hour-long swearing-in-ceremony.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had returned to power in Assam for a second consecutive term after winning the recent elections to the 126-member state Assembly.

Sarma, who has received the support of the two allies of "Mitrajot" -- Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party Liberal (UPPL), accompanied by other leaders including Sonowal had met the Governor at Raj Bhavan in the afternoon yesterday and staked his claim to form the new government.

The 52-year-old was elected the leader of the BJP legislature party at a meeting held yesterday at the state Assembly complex, where the party's four central leaders and outgoing Chief Minister Sonowal were present. Before the BJP legislature party meeting Sonowal, 59, the outgoing Chief Minister had submitted his resignation to the Governor at the Raj Bhavan.

Sarma, who quit Congress in September 2015 after serving as a minister in government ministerial posts in Tarun Gagoi-led governments (2001-2016), was instrumental in the BJP's victory both in the recently-held Assembly elections and in the 2016 polls in Assam and played an important role in forming BJP led governments in Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Sarma, who was elected from the Jalukbari Assembly seat for the fifth time since 2001, was an important minister holding many departments including Finance, Health, PWD, Education, in the Sonowal government. Sarma defeated his Congress opponent Romen Chandra Borthakur by a margin of 1,01,911 votes against his 2016 winning margin of 85, 935 votes.

Sonowal, who belongs to Assam's indigenous Sonowal-Kachari tribes, and Sarma, an Assamese Brahmin who is the convenor of the anti-Congress North East Democratic Alliance, led the BJP in the recent three-phase March-April Assembly polls.

In the 126-member Assembly, the BJP won 60 seats while its alliance partner Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) got nine seats and new ally United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) secured six.


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