As of the moment this report was filed, the BJP and its allies were leading in 77 seats in the state of Assam. The Congress-AIUDF alliance was seen leading on 40 seats. Essentially, the state of Assam is headed for another five years of BJP-rule. This will definitely shock many political pundits who were hoping to see the resurgence of the Congress party and its newfound Islamist partners in the North-eastern state. Yet to their surprise, the BJP has not, in any fashion, been affected by the supposed ‘anti-CAA sentiment’ prevalent in the state which liberals and opposition leaders were banking on for so long.
Who made this historic win possible for the saffron party in West Bengal? One man – Himanta Biswa Sarma is the answer. At the very outset, we must state that the man has made history in Assam by winning his Jalukbari constituency for the fifth time in the row. Now, he deserves to be chief minister of Assam, and the BJP’s central leadership must make it a point to not for a second be in split minds about the same. The BJP has retained Assam courtesy of the untiring efforts of Himanta Biswa Sarma and the appeal which Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys in the state. So, it is not as if Sarma being chosen as the chief minister by the BJP would be something extraordinary.
It would simply mean that the BJP still acknowledges the efforts of those leaders because of which the party wins entire states. No doubt Sarbanand Sonowal has been a great chief minister. He has been hard working and ensured the upliftment of Assam. But Sonowal is a silent and diligent worker – traits which do not necessarily win elections in the times we live in. Perhaps Sarbanand Sonowal would be best suited in PM Modi’s cabinet, where he can work for the country without worrying about remaining in the media glare.
But state chief ministers must continuously hit the headlines. And Himanta Biswa Sarma is a headline machine. Not a single day passes without the man not making it to the news. As such, coupled with his strategic, administrative and media handling abilities, Himanta Biswa Sarma would make for a formidable chief minister in Assam. In any case, according to the Indian Express, Sarma had apparently been promised of the top post long back by the BJP top leadership, for his contributions to the party in the state and in the region. Now would be a good time for the BJP to act on the said promise and crown Himanta Biswa Sarma the next chief minister of Assam.
Himanta Biswa Sarma as chief minister would further strengthen the saffron party not just in Assam, but across the North East. Himanta Biswa Sarma’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and simultaneously of the state’s economy has earned him praises from all over India. It is now time for the BJP to take a courageous decision and reward the man for his efforts to colour the state of Assam with the saffron hue.