The BJP came to power again in Assam in the recently concluded assembly elections. Though the anti-CAA and price-rise issues were thought to be able to put a dent in the saffron camp, the results showed otherwise. The BJP over the years has deeply rooted itself in the state with the help of Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma. The party also set an example by rewarding Dr Sarma with the chief minister’s chair after all of the hard work. Also the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Sarma enjoys a very good rapport in the other north-eastern states as well.
Having said this, some opine that the essence of BJP of yesteryears has been lost during its transformation since the entry of Sarma. In some way, this does make some sense. Sarma himself is a BJP leader who would have to acknowledge his experience and growth to the Congress. Sarma did bring in a transformation in the party, which did wonders for it, as is evident by the fact that it returned to power. There were also unconfirmed reports that leaders having closer ties with Sarma were preferably given tickets during the election. It was the grit, wit and smartness of Sarma that steered BJP towards victory, perhaps the reason behind it opting to not declare the CM candidate like the last assembly polls. After years of speculation, Sarma has been finally sworn in as the chief minister of the state. But the road ahead is not a bed of roses for the popular leader.
He assumes charge at a significant juncture when the state is reeling under a Covid wave. Though he has enormous experience in managing the health sector, having served as the former health minister, yet the second wave is proving to be way stronger than anticipated. On the other hand, is the issue of not letting the economy pause due to the second wave. The chief minister’s office must be keeping a vigilant eye over the state Covid scenario. The government has levied stricter restrictions across the state to contain the spread of the virus. At the same time, the vaccination drive has almost completed a week. However, the rising prices of essential commodities is the one thing that is troubling the people more than anything else. Though the district administrations have been asked to keep a strict check on the prices, the retailers seem to be having a field day. Many are seen taking advantage of the partial lockdown situation and hike the prices of commodities. The administration must come up with stronger checking measures for the same. All in all, the new chief minister seems to have his both hands full for the moment. With July approaching the state must also be prepared for the monsoon and floods. All eyes are now on the new chief minister to tackle the onslaughts and prepare the state for a new virus-induced normal.