Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sharma (File photo)
GUWAHATI: Assam is being forced to wait out the wave of post-poll violence in neighbouring Bengal before BJP reveals who its next CM will be.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was scheduled to arrive in the state on Tuesday as a parliamentary board observer tasked to get feedback on the contenders, postponed his trip at the last moment.
Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is seen as a potential CM-in-waiting, said the “whole process of government formation” had been delayed by the “unexpected situation” in Bengal. “Our national president JP Nadda is currently in Bengal to take stock of the situation. After he returns to New Delhi, the parliamentary board will sit.”
Sarma clarified that any such delay didn’t mean that government formation had been left “hanging” since the election results were declared completely only on Monday.
State BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass said the parliamentary board could meet late Tuesday while the observer would arrive on Wednesday to take the process forward.
Dass denied there was any conflict within the party on its choice of CM. “It is a settled matter that one among the two leaders (incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal and Sarma) will become the chief minister,” he said.
If Sonowal is retained, he will become the first non-Congress CM for two consecutive terms. In the event of Sarma making the cut, he will become the third ex-Aasu leader to get the CM post and the second one after Sonowal to be chosen for the post after crossing over from another party.