BJP stalwart Himanta Biswa Sarma has been named the new chief minister of Assam. According to BJP sources, his name was suggested by the outgoing state chief Sarbananda Sonowal.
Sarma will be sworn in on Monday.
The results of the assembly polls were declared on 2 May, with the BJP-led alliance winning 75 out of 126 seats. The BJP itself carried 60 seats, while its ally party, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), bagged nine seats. Six seats were won by the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL).
Sarma, a renowned name in the state, played a crucial role in laying the groundwork for the BJP in the northeastern part of the country. The politician left the Congress Party in 2015.
The saffron party won its first election in the state in 2016, and Sarma was appointed health minister.
That same year, in another northeastern state, Arunachal Pradesh, Sarma played a key role in toppling the People's Party in the state government and forming a BJP-led coalition there.
In 2017, he helped the BJP form a government in Manipur for the first time. The BJP had won 22 seats versus Congress' 28 in the 60-member house, but he managed to cobble together a coalition.
Soon after his name was finalised, Sarma took to Twitter to thank the people of Assam for their "pious faith" in him.
With fragrance of Assam in my heart & love of my wonderful people in my 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.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) May 9, 2021
On this Day, I vow to work with & for each one of you with greater passion Assam. pic.twitter.com/VyG24TucPl
The BJP was not as fortunate in other key states, suffering electoral defeat in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. The right-leaning BJP had been expecting to make significant gains in these states. Incidentally, these are also several of the states where the BJP has never formed a government.