Assam BJP MLAs to formalise Sonowal's name as CM on May 22

Sonowal said he would take oath at Khanapara field here on May 24 at a function to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PTI| Last Updated: May 20, 2016, 23:30 PM IST

Guwahati: Newly-elected BJP legislators in Assam will meet here on May 22 to elect Sarbananda Sonowal as the leader of the legislature party formalising the choice as new chief minister of the state.

Sonowal said he would take oath at Khanapara field here on May 24 at a function to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The new BJP members of the Assam Assembly today informally met under the leadership of 53-year-old Sonowal, who is now Union Minister of Sports, at the party headquarters here, spokesperson Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Sonowal, who came into politics as a student leader belonging to AASU in the 1980s during the agitation against influx from Bangladesh, had joined BJP five years ago, and was made its chief ministerial candidate in the election.

The BJP and its allies AGP and Bodo People's Front scored a landslide victory, cornering 87 seats in the 126-member Assembly.

The victorious BJP legislators decided to have the first official meeting of the legislature party on May 22 where Sonowal will be elected as their leader, Sarma said.

BJP's alliance partners, AGP and BPF, will meet the next day to elect Sonowal as the leader of the alliance, he said.

The new government will be sworn in on May 24 here in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, all the chief ministers of NDA, including those in the northeast, besides senior central BJP ministers, Sarma said.

Sonowal will meet Modi and Shah on the election outcome and government formation, he added.

The BJP won 60 seats on its own, up from 5 last time. The AGP bagged 14 seats while the BPF secured 13 seats. Last time, the AGP had 10 and BPF 12.

The Congress, which had 78 seats in the outgoing Assembly, could bag only 26 this time. The AIUDF, the largest opposition party in the outgoing Assembly, won 13 seats, against 18.