Considered as the most powerful politician in the entire northeastern region, 52-year-old Himanta Biswa Sarma, who’s target was always set on the top executive post in Assam, will fulfil his long cherished dream when he takes oath as the 15th Chief Minister of the state on Monday.

Since 2015, when he quit the Congress and joined the BJP, Sarma was the most acceptable organiser for both the central and state leaders of the saffron party.

Gradually, Sarma became a more indispensable leader for the BJP after he played a significant role in forming saffron party led governments in three other northeastern states – Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Political commentator and analyst Barun Talukdar said, “Determination, hard work and constructive and favourable strategies rewards Sarma with the Chief Minister’s coveted posts.

In view of the Covid-induced situations and heavy financial burden, Sarma had to prove himself once again to meet the tough challenge,” Sarma, after proving his leadership in the influential student body All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) joined direct politics in 1996.

An important Minister of Assam since 2001, Sarma’s political acumen and the ability by facing all the odds and challenges, was rewarded by his mentors — former Congress Chief Ministers Hiteswar Saikia and Tarun Gogoi, had given him ample opportunities to rise and he also sincerely performed the responsibility.

After the BJP came to power in Assam for the first time in 2016, Sarma not only given all the important portfolios including Finance, PWD, Health and Education under the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal led government, the saffron party made him the convenor of the North anti-Congress platform –East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), bringing most non-Congress political parties of all eight northeastern states within its fold.

Due to Sarma’s successful strategies, the BJP not only formed government in Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, but the NDA allies are now leading the governments in the other four northeastern states – Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim.

Born on February 1, 1969 to Kailash Nath Sarma and Mrinalini Devi, Sarma first elected as Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from the Jalukbari seat in 2001 and won the seat for the fifth time until the recent elections.

Sarma this time defeated his Congress opponent Romen Chandra Borthakur by a margin of 1,01,911 votes against his 2016 winning margin of 85, 935 votes.

Himanta Biswa Sarma and his wife Riniki Sarma have two children – Nandil and Sukanya, who are studying in college and schools respectively.

Writer and columnist Prashanta Kashaap said : “Sarma is one of the most charismatic and dynamic leaders of Assam. He is a great visionary and is at times referred to as the Chanakya of Assam and northeast politics.”

“Sarma is seen as the BJP party’s mascot or in Assam or points man in the northeast region. First in 2016 Assam Assembly polls then in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and once again in the March-April poll battle, he managed to create an electrifying atmosphere during the campaign attending more than 200 rallies and scores of other meetings.

He is a huge crowd puller. Not only by his speech, he attracts masses by singing Assamese popular songs besides strongly attacking the opposition parties by referring instances and facts.”

With the outbreak of Covid-19, Sarma as health Minister took various important decisions and prompt steps to curb the pandemic in the first wave obtaining huge appreciations from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central ministers and leaders.

While on one hand, Sarma gets the love, support, and praises of people for his effective handling of the Covid-19 situation in Assam, he as a Finance Minister taken several bold steps to deal with the economy of Assam.

Sarma did his schooling at Kamrup Academy School in Guwahati in 1985 before he enrolled in the famous Cotton College, where he pursued political science. He also did a Bachelor of Laws (undergraduate law degree) from Government Law College and also obtained a Ph D degree from Gauhati University.

As a lawyer, Sarma practised Law at Guwahati High Court for more than five years from 1996. As a sports administrator, Sarma has been associated with many sports associations and bodies till now and always encouraged the sportsmen of all streams.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

sc/sdr/