First-ever BJP govt. assumes office in north-east with Sonowal as Assam CM

First-ever BJP govt. assumes office in north-east with Sonowal as Assam CM

Submitted by alvin on Tue, 2016-05-24 19:16 Guwahati: Sarbananda Sonowal was on Tuesday sworn-in as the chief minister of the first ever Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam at an august ceremony here in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 53-year-old Sonowal, who was administered the oath of office by Assam Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya, replaces the 15-year-old Congress regime led by Tarun Gogoi. Himanta Biswa Sarma, the former blue-eyed boy of Gogoi who is considered to be the architect of the BJP's stupendous show in Assam, was the second to take oath. AGP president Atul Bora, Pramila Rani Brahma and Parimal Shukla Vaidya also took oath as ministers in the Sonowal government. BJP stalwart L.K. Advani, party president Amit Shah, Union Ministers and several chief ministers also graced the occasion. Former chief minister Gogoi, who was extended an invitation by Sonowal, was also present in the swearing-in ceremony. In the 126-seat Assam assembly, the National Democratic Alliance secured an absolute majority, with the BJP claiming 60 seats, AGP 14 and BPF 12, while the Congress which had secured 78 seats in the 2011 assembly election reduced to just 26 seats. It was the first time after 1985 when a chief minister took oath in an open field. All arrangements were made by the administration to smoothly conduct the swearing-in ceremony. Sonowal, who became state BJP president in 2013 for the first time, started his political career in 2001 by becoming the member of Assam assembly on an AGP ticket. In 2004, he became Lok Sabha member for the first time by defeating Congress strongman Pawan Singh Ghatowar from Dibrugarh constituency. Prior to his political stint, Sonowal was the president of the All Assam Students' Union from 1992 to 1999. In the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP got seven seats in Assam when Sonowal was in-charge of the state party unit. The party again made him state president last year. (ANI)