New CM: Great expectations

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Any story or history of politics in Northeast will be incomplete without the name of Himanta Biswa Sarma. A young errand boy in All Assam Students’ Union, today is the most important and crucial political figure of Northeast, especially Assam. Sarma was elected as the leader of the legislature party on May 9. Sarma will swear in as the 15th chief minister of the state on May 10. Almost the entire state is jubilant and excited to have him as their chief minister. Lovingly called as ‘mama’ (uncle), Himanta Biswa Sarma may be called the blue-eyed boy of politics in Assam. Political observers believe that Sarma was the best Chief ministerial candidate and that this decision of the NDA will have a positive impact in the neighbouring states, given Sarma’s crucial role in the NEDA.

Sarma’s tryst with politics began during his college days, as he was elected the general secretary of the Cotton College Union Society (CCUS). After his post-graduation, he did his LLB from Government Law College, Guwahati and obtained a PhD degree from Gauhati University and then practiced law at Gauhati High Court from 1996 to 2001. Little did anyone know then that he would grow up to be the most formidable name in regional politics. It was in 2001 that he was elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly from Jalukbari constituency for the first time after he defeated Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader Bhrigu Kumar Phukan. Since then, there has been no looking back. Under the leadership of Tarun Gogoi, the then chief minister of Assam, Sarma quickly grabbed the position of a minister of state in Gogoi’s cabinet in 2002. Undefeated from Jalukbari constituency till date, he has held many important portfolios including planning and development, finance, health, education, Assam Accord Implementation, among others. It was under his regime that much of Assam’s health and education sector saw major transformations. Many even call him the wizard of new, energetic, dynamic and resilient Assam. The state has seen how this dynamic political figure stood up for his people as the state reeled under anti-CAA riots followed by the lockdowns induced by the Coronavirus pandemic. During the first wave of the Covid pandemic, the state became an example for other states of the country with even Prime Minister Narendra Modi making significant mentions of the state’s health machinery.

All said and done, there remains a herculean task ahead of Sarma and his team-to-be in the form of Covid-19. Many hopes and aspirations of the people are pinned upon the new chief minister as he assumes office on Monday. After years of rumors, speculations, reports, etc. Himanta Biswa Sarma will finally assume the chief minister’s office in 2021. With the pandemic taking its monstrous shape in the state as well, many believe Sarma would be the saviour who will steer the state clear of this crisis. Having said this, Sarma has a lot of work to do in the state’s fight against Covid-19, starting with speeding up the vaccination drive. Needless to say, the agenda of development of the Northeastern region is first on the priority list of the BJP-led government. All eyes will now be on Himanta Biswa Sarma as to what would be his approach towards the issues of the state right from insurgency to development. After having caused such a hype and uproar among the masses, garnering unwavering faith and support of the people and having built such an image, the state is expecting nothing but a golden performance from the fifteenth CM of the state.

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