Dispur | Jagran Politics Desk: Ending the month-long suspense over its next leader in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday unanimously elected Himanta Biswa Sarma as its legislative party leader in Assam and declared him as the next chief minister.

Sarma, who had joined the BJP in 2015 over differences with Congress' Rahul Gandhi, has pipped Sarbananda Sonowal to become the next chief minister of Assam. The swearing-in ceremony will take place on Monday.

Sarma's name was proposed by Sonowal and seconded by BJP state party president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and newly elected Haflong MLA Nandita Garlosa.

While Sarma has been elected as the next chief minister of Assam, media reports suggest that Sonowal, who had resigned from his post on Sunday, will likely be called to Delhi for central roles.

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The development comes a day after the top leaders of the BJP, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, held back-to-back meetings with Sarma and Sonowal to discuss over the next chief minister of the state.

Sarma was also considered for the post of chief minister in 2016. However, the party then had decided against making Sarma the CM as he was new in the BJP.

However, Sarma over the years proved his worth as he helped the BJP expand its wings in the northeast and form governments in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.

The former Congress leader, who is considered a leader with a clean image, was also praised for the handling of the anti-CAA protest and coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Meanwhile, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) stormed back to power in the crucial northeastern state retaining its hold on the government.

The BJP secured 60 seats, about 33 per cent, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party, Liberal (UPPL) bagged nine and six seats respectively.

On the other hand, the Congress-led Mahajot alliance won just 50 seats.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma