Himanta Biswa Sarma third disgruntled Congress leader to become CM

It is a dream come true for Himanta Biswa Sarma as the BJP on Sunday announced that he will be the next Assam Chief Minister.

The announcement was made by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar after the legislature party meeting in Guwahati. Sarma will succeed his party colleague Sarbananda Sonowal.

The disgruntled Sarma, who had left the Congress to join the BJP, will be the 15th Chief Minister of Assam.

Sarma had quit the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the party in 2015. During the Congress regime in the state, Sarma held several portfolios, such as Agriculture, Planning & Development, Finance, Health, and Education.

Sources said that Sarma had dreamt of becoming the Chief Minister of the state.

Opposing Chief Minister Gogoi’s leadership, he switched over to the BJP. Though he did not succeed in becoming the Chief Minister after the BJP’s victory in the 2016 Assembly elections, but this time, considering his hard work in the 2021 Assembly polls, the party decided to give him the post, replacing outgoing Chief Minister Sonowal.

Chief Minister of BJP-ruled Manipur N. Biren Singh has also been in the Congress. Biren Singh became a minister in 2002 after winning the first Assembly election as a Democratic Revolutionary Peoples Party (DRPP) candidate. In 2007, he won on a Congress ticket and then became a minister in the government.

In October 2016, Singh resigned from the Manipur Assembly and the Congress to join the BJP, rebelling against the then Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

On March 15, 2017, he became the first Chief Minister of the BJP in Arunachal.

Pema Khandu, a 41-year-old Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, has also served in the Congress. Khandu, who started his career as the party’s Tawang district President in 2010, won the unopposed Assembly elections in 2011 from his father’s seat Mukto.

He was sworn in as Chief Minister on July 17, 2016 at the age of 37 in the Congress government.

However, on September 16, 2016, Khandu left the Congress with 43 MLAs of the party and joined the People’s Party of Arunachal and formed a coalition government with the BJP.

When the People’s Party started action against Khandu, on December 31, 2016, he joined the BJP along with 33 MLAs of the People’s Party of Arunachal and formed the government.

In the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections held in 2019, his party won 41 of the 60 seats, to again became the Chief Minister.