Assam BJP leaders Sarma, Sonowal meet party chief JP Nadda, Amit Shah in Delhi

Assam BJP leaders Sarma, Sonowal meet party chief J P Nadda, Amit Shah in Delhi
Sarbananda Sonawal and Himanta Biswa Sarma. File photo/PTI

New Delhi: Amid speculation over the next chief minister of Assam, senior BJP leaders from the state Sarbananda Sonawal and Himanta Biswa Sarma met party president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah here on Saturday.

Both incumbent Chief Minister Sonowal and Health Minister Sarma were on Friday called to New Delhi by the BJP central leadership, apparently to discuss the leadership issue in Assam.

So far two rounds of meetings have been completed, in which Nadda, Shah and BJP's general secretary B L Santhosh met both leaders from Assam separately. The third round of meeting is on in which the BJP's top brass is meeting both leaders together.

Talks related to formation of the next government in Assam and who will be the chief minister dominated the meetings.

After the meeting, Sarma said the BJP Legislature Party is scheduled to meet in Assam on Sunday to elect its leader.

Sonowal, who belongs to Assam's indigenous Sonowal-Kachari tribals, and Sarma, an Assamese Brahmin who is the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance, are contenders for the top post of the Assam government.

The BJP had not announced a chief ministerial candidate before the Assembly polls in Assam.

In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP had projected Sonowal as its chief ministerial candidate and won, forming the first saffron party government in the northeast.

This time, the party has been maintaining that it would decide who would be the next chief minister of Assam after the elections.

In the results announced for the 126-member Assam assembly last Sunday, the BJP won 60 seats while its alliance partners AGP got nine seats and UPPL six.

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