Himanta Biswa Sarma
Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assamese: হিমন্ত বিশ্ব শৰ্মা; Hindi: हिमंता बिस्वा सरमा; born 1 February 1969) is an Indian politician who serves as the 15th and current senior Chief Minister of Assam. A former member of the Indian National Congress political party, Sarma crossed the floor to join the Bharatiya Janata Party on 23 August 2015. He is a five time Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Jalukbari, having first been elected in 2001.
Himanta Biswa Sarma
|15th [[Chief Minister of Assam]]|
|Assumed office |
10 May 2021
|Preceded by||Sarbananda Sonowal|
|Minister of the Government of Assam|
24 May 2016 – 9 May 2021
|Chief Minister||Sarbananda Sonowal|
|Ministry||Finance, Planning and Development, Health and Family Welfare, Education, Public Works|
|Chief Minister||Tarun Gogoi|
|Ministry||Finance, Health & Family Welfare, Public Works, Transformation & Development|
|Chief Minister||Tarun Gogoi|
|Ministry||Health and Family Welfare, Finance, Public Works, Culture|
|Minister of State of the Government of Assam|
1 September 2004 – June 2006
|Chief Minister||Tarun Gogoi|
|Ministry||Finance, Planning and Development|
7 June 2002 – 31 August 2004
|Chief Minister||Tarun Gogoi|
|Ministry||Agriculture, Planning and Development|
|Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Bhrigu Kumar Phukan|
|Born||1 February 1969|
Jorhat, Assam, India
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party (2015–present)|
|Indian National Congress (1996–2015)|
|Children||Nandil (son), Sukanya (daughter)|
|Parents||Kailash Nath Sarma|
|Website||Himanta Biswa Sarma|
Sarma cited mismanagement by Rahul Gandhi as the reason for his defection from the Indian National Congress party. He led the BJP's successful state election campaign in 2016 and was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister on 24 May 2016. The BJP appointed him the convener (leader) of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a regional sub-group of the federal National Democratic Alliance (NDA), aimed at increasing the party's political strength in North-East India. He is often called 'Mama' (meaning maternal uncle) by voters in Assam.
Early life and educationEdit
Sarma was born on 1 February 1969 in Gandhi Basti, Ulubari, Guwahati. He belongs to a Assamese Bamun family which traces its origins to Latima in Nalbari district. Sarma married Riniki Bhuyan Sarma in 2001, with whom he has a son, Nandil Biswa Sarma, who attended The Doon School, and a daughter, Sukanya Sarma, who attended Mayo College Girls School.
Sarma was educated at Kamrup Academy School, Guwahati in 1985 and joined Cotton College, Guwahati (now known as Cotton University) for his undergraduate education. He was elected the General Secretary of Cotton College Students Union, serving from 1991 to 1992. Sarma is the seventh chief minister of Assam from Cotton University.
He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1990 and Master of Arts in 1992, both in political science, from the University. Thereafter, Sarma obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Government Law College, Guwahati, and became a solicitor in 1995. He practised law at the Gauhati High Court from 1996 to 2001. In 2006, he completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in political science from Gauhati University, defending his dissertation shortly before he was elected to public office.
Indian National CongressEdit
Sarma was elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly from Jalukbari for the first time in 2001 when he defeated Asom Gana Parishad leader Bhrigu Kumar Phukan. He was re-elected in 2006, then in 2011 for a third consecutive term with a 78,000 vote margin. Sarma held important portfolios (both state and cabinet) as Minister of State for Agriculture, Planning and Development, Finance, Health, Education, and Assam Accord Implementation from 2002 to 2014.
He was made Cabinet Minister for Health in 2006, and in 2011 he was also entrusted with the additional charge of Education. During his tenure, three medical colleges in Jorhat, Barpeta and Tezpur were built. He also initiated work for five more medical colleges in Diphu, Nagaon, Dhubri, North Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar, which are now in various startup stages.
Bharatiya Janata PartyEdit
After political disagreements with the former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Sarma resigned from all positions on 21 July 2014. He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Jalukbari constituency until his resignation from the Assembly on 15 September 2015. Sarma joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 23 August 2015 at the residence of Amit Shah at New Delhi. He was appointed as the party's Convener of the Election Management Committee for the upcoming Assembly Elections in the state. In May 2016, Sarma won the Jalukbari constituency for the fourth consecutive term and was sworn in as Cabinet Minister on 24 May in Sonowal ministry, in the first BJP Government in North East India. He was allotted portfolios like Finance, Health & Family Welfare, Education, Planning & Development, Tourism, Pension & Public Grievances.
Chief Minister of AssamEdit
Sarma urged Muslims to adopt "decent family planning" in June 2021. He also stressed the need for a new law against illegal cattle smuggling in Assam.  Mission Basundhara was launched under Sarma in 2021; it aims at helping residents with issues related to land and property.
Boundary dispute with MizoramEdit
On 26 July 2021 Assam Police and Mizoram Police (Mizoram is a sister state of Assam on its southern boundary) fired upon each other supposedly part of the decades old Assam-Mizoram border dispute. Assam lost six police personnel and a civilian in the firefight, while one youth from Mizoram suffered a gunshot wound. Both sides charged each other with opening fire first.
Reports from news media indicate that on 24 July 2021, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Zoramthanga had a one-to-one talk about the boundary dispute where both agreed to settle the matter amicably through talks. Before this could take place, and only two days after the two Chief Ministers held their talks, this incident took place.
Days after skirmish which left dozens of others injured, the Assam government on 29 July 2021 issued a travel advisory, asking people of the state not to travel to Mizoram - the first such travel advisory by a state in the independent India. Himanta retracted from this advisory a day later. Further, Assam's Home and Political Department 29 July, said the police should carry out an intensive drive against drugs and check "all vehicles entering into Assam from Mizoram".
On 23 April 2017, Sarma was unanimously elected as President of Badminton Association of India. Sarma has been the president of the Assam Badminton Association. He also became the president of the Assam Cricket Association in June 2016 when his party man Pradip Buragohain became the secretary. Sarma was also the longest-serving vice president of the association serving from 2002 to 2016.
In November 2020, Biswa posted on social media, falsely claiming that supporters of AIUDF politician Badruddin Ajmal had shouted slogans in support of Pakistan to greet him, on his arrival at Silchar airport. Biswa's claim was reiterated by an Assamese news channel, News Live, which is owned by Biswa's wife, and then also confirmed by several news channels and newspapers, including Times Now, CNN News18, and The New Indian Express. Biswa's posts were flagged by Facebook as misinformation and blocked from being shared, after independent third-party fact-checkers examined videos of the event, and demonstrated that the slogans shouted had consisted of the names of political leaders and not in support of Pakistan. Guwahati Police have since registered a First Information Report and opened a case.
In April 2021, Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that there is no need to wear masks in the state as there is no more coronavirus, when India was undergoing the second wave of COVID-19.
A Delhi-based advocate from Assam has lodged a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the Assam police "on an encounter spree" since Sarma stated in the police conference that police should shoot alleged criminals at legs which are permitted by the law.
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- Affidavit. pg 7. Chief Election Officer, Assam. Retrieved on 22 September 2021.
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- "No curbs on travel to Mizoram, says Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma". The New Indian Express. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
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- "Himanta Biswa Sarma booked for false claim on social media: Police". The Indian Express. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
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