Five months to the Assam assembly election, the BJP on Saturday appointed Sarbananda Sonowal, union minister of state for sports and youth welfare, as the new state BJP president. Also named chairman of the state election committee, Sonowal is also likely to be projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Assam.
“It is a huge responsibility, and I believe in taking all sections of people with me,” Sonowal said. Sonowal’s appointment as state BJP chief is significant because it was under his presidentship that the saffron party had won seven of the state’s 14 Lok Sabha seats, at the same time also restricting the ruling Congress to an all-time low of just three seats. Sonowal had earlier given up the state president’s post on being made a union minister last year.
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“Sonowal is a very dynamic leader under whom we had won seven Lok Sabha seats in 2014. With Sonowal at the helm of affairs once again, the BJP is sure of sweeping the ensuing state assembly election,” Guwahati MP Bijoya Chakravarty said.
Former state BJP chief Siddhartha Bhattacharyya meanwhile has been appointed national spokesman in charge of the Northeastern region. “I congratulate Sonowal and look forward to winning the assembly election in a big way under his leadership,” Bhattacharyya said.
The BJP meanwhile is launching its election campaign in Assam next Friday with national president Amit Shah attending a huge rally in Dibrugarh. The party had immediately after the 2014 Lok Sabha election announced its “Mission 84” for Assam, setting a target of winning at least 84 of the 126 assembly seats that is required for a two-thirds majority.