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Sonowal elected as BJP legislature party leader

Last updated on: May 22, 2016 18:40 IST

IMAGE: Image: BJP CM candidate Sarbananda Sonwal meets Assam Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya. 

Sarbananda Sonowal was on Sunday unanimously elected as Bharatiya Janata Party legislature party leader in Assam, paving the way for his becoming the next chief minister of the state.

In the first meeting of the BJP legislators after the assembly polls, party MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma proposed Sonowal's name as their leader in the House.

MLAs P Phukan, Atul Bora, Angoorlata Dela, Bhabesh Kalita and AC Jain supported Sonowal's name.

Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, who attended the meeting as an observer from the BJP central unit, declared Sonowal elected unanimously as the legislature party leader.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support, Sonowal said, "We have the spirit of unity and we have to live up to the people's expectations."

Talking about his meeting with Modi on Saturday, Sonowal said the prime minister has asked everyone to work honestly for development of all sections of the society.

"He (Modi) said we have got a scope to work for all. He is there for us in our every need. We have to complete the unfinished work," Sonowal said.

He said the BJP winning 60 seats in Assam on its own was "completely unexpected for him".

"People wholeheartedly gave their mandate in our favour. Nothing can be better than this. We have a big responsibility now," he added.

After the meeting, when asked by media about his priorities, Sonowal said implementation of 'Assam Accord' is topmost for him.

He also said there is no discomfort in working with his former senior and Asom Gana Parishad leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and he will seek guidance from him.

Meanwhile, Sonowal has resigned from the Union Council of Ministers.

The resignation letter of 53-year-old Sonowal was forwarded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the President, who accepted it.

"The President, as advised by the prime minister, has accepted the resignation of Sarbananda Sonowal, minister of state (independent xharge) of ministry of youth affairs and aports, from the council of ministers, with immediate effect.

"Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, the President has directed that Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, shall be assigned the Independent charge of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in addition to his existing portfolios," a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

Assam Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya has invited the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bodoland People's Front to form the next government in Assam after the three partners staked their claim.

BJP Legislature Party Leader Sarbananda Sonowal, AGP president Atul Bora, and BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary led a delegation of MLAs to meet Acharya to stake their claim to form the next government in the state, a Raj Bhawan spokesperson told PTI.

The Governor afterwards invited the BJP-led alliance to form the next government in the state.

The oath taking ceremony is scheduled to take place on May 24 and a host of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is slated to be in attendance.

It will be the first ever BJP-led government in Assam.

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