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Assam CM pick after polls, says BJP

GUWAHATI, MAR 7 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/7/2021 12:31:37 PM IST

The BJP in Assam has said it will decide on the chief ministerial candidate only after the results of the state election are out on May 2. The BJP earlier this week announced the names of candidates for 70 seats in Assam.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will contest the assembly election from Majauli seat. Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, widely known as a key BJP strategist for the North East, will contest from Jalukbari, a seat that he currently holds. 

Sarma was not keen to contest the election, but the party decided that Sonowal would not be projected as the chief ministerial candidate and the BJP would fight the election under the joint leadership of Sonowal and Sarma, sources have said. Assam BJP chief Ranjit Dass Sunday told NDTV the party will decide on the chief ministerial candidate only after the results.

“The parliamentary board will decide and a chief ministerial face won’t be projected before or during the election,” Dass said.

In 2016, the BJP projected Sonowal as the chief ministerial face in Assam. This time, it seems the BJP is keeping the option of chief ministership open, likely for either Sonowal or Sarma.

“We will not project a CM face since BJP is in power in Assam. We usually choose a chief ministerial candidate where we are not in power,” the Assam BJP chief told NDTV.

The BJP will not field 11 MLAs again. Its regional ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) allowed the BJP to contest from Barhampur seat and stopped AGP’s founder president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta from contesting from there.

The BJP’s battle team for Assam now includes AGP and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL). The AGP will fight on 26 seats and the UPPL will contest eight seats.

 

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