BJP's key strategist says he won't contest Assam election

The election will be due next year but there's speculation already who will be the next chief minister

Update: 2020-08-26 03:01 GMT
It is significant that Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, at his first press conference after taking office, made it clear his government would seek NRC re-verification. By arrangement

Guwahati: Amid much speculation on the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for the Assam Assembly polls next year, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is the BJP’s key strategist for the Northeast, said on Tuesday he is not interested in contesting the election.

Sarma tweeted: “As I have already indicated on several public platforms that I am not interested in contesting the next Assembly election, my role will be limited to contributing whatever I can for my party and for my state. For Assam’s future we need to have a strong nationalist government.”

There has been speculation in the press and social media that Sarma may be the BJP’s CM candidate and that incumbent chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal may be accommodated in the Union cabinet. The speculation started after Sarma’s staunch supporter Piyush Hazarika, minister of state for health, said Sarma has the quality and potential to become CM.

Obviously referring to this, Sarma added: “A few people feel I am after some post and position. My only ambition is to see a BJP government with 100+ seats.”

Sarma’s remarks came after ex-Congress CM Tarun Gogoi claimed former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi may be the BJP’s CM candidate in Assam. Justice Gogoi, however, swiftly denied this.


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