Himanta Biswa Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma (born 1 February 1969) is an Indian politician serving as the 15th and incumbent Chief Minister of Assam. A former member of the Indian National Congress political party, Sarma joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 23 August 2015.[2] He is a five time Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Jalukbari, having first been elected in 2001.[3][4]

Himanta Biswa Sarma
Himanta Biswa Sarma,.jpg
Official Portrait, 2021
15th Chief Minister of Assam
Assumed office
10 May 2021
GovernorJagdish Mukhi
Preceded bySarbananda Sonowal
Minister of the Government of Assam
In office
24 May 2016 – 9 May 2021
Chief MinisterSarbananda Sonowal
MinistryFinance, Planning and Development, Health and Family Welfare, Education, Public Works
In office
2011–2014
Chief MinisterTarun Gogoi
MinistryFinance, Health & Family Welfare, Public Works, Transformation & Development
In office
2006–2011
Chief MinisterTarun Gogoi
MinistryHealth and Family Welfare, Finance, Public Works, Culture
Minister of State of the Government of Assam
In office
1 September 2004 – June 2006
Chief MinisterTarun Gogoi
MinistryFinance, Planning and Development
In office
7 June 2002 – 31 August 2004
Chief MinisterTarun Gogoi
MinistryAgriculture, Planning and Development
Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
2001
Preceded byBhrigu Kumar Phukan
ConstituencyJalukbari
Personal details
Born (1969-02-01) 1 February 1969 (age 53)
Jorhat, Assam, India
CitizenshipIndia
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
(2015-present)
Other political
affiliations
Indian National Congress (1991–2015)
Spouse
(m. 2001)
Children2
Alma mater
Signature
WebsiteHimanta Biswa Sarma
NicknameMama[1]

Sarma studied at Cotton College and later obtained a bachelor of laws from Government Law College in Guwahati. He later became a solicitor and practised law at Gauhati High Court before his entry to politics.

Sarma was the Congress candidate for Jalukbari in 2001 and he defeated AGP leader Bhrigu Phukan. He was made a minister of state in the First Tarun Gogoi cabinet twice. He was inducted into the Second Tarun Gogoi cabinet and was upgraded to a cabinet minister. He served in the third cabinet before he resigned from congress.

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.[5] He was sworn in as Chief Minister of Assam on 10 May 2021, succeeding Sarbananda Sonowal. He is often called 'Mama' (meaning maternal uncle) by voters in Assam.[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Sarma was born on 1 February 1969 in Jorhat, Assam, the family later shifted to Ulubari, Gandhibasti in Guwahati.[4][6] He belongs to an Assamese family which traces its origins to Latima in Nalbari district.[7][8] Sarma married Riniki Bhuyan Sarma in 2001, with whom he has a son, Nandil Biswa Sarma,[9] who attended The Doon School,[10] and a daughter, Sukanya Sarma, who attended Mayo College Girls School.[11][6]

Sarma was educated at Kamrup Academy School, Guwahati in 1985 and joined Cotton College, Guwahati (now known as Cotton University) for his undergraduate education.[12] He was elected the General Secretary of Cotton College Students Union, serving from 1991 to 1992.[13] Sarma is the seventh chief minister of Assam from Cotton University.[14][15]

He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1990 and Master of Arts in 1992, both in political science, from the University.[12] 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.[12][6][16]

Political careerEdit

Indian National CongressEdit

 
Sarma with Kapil Sibal, releasing a report on Seismic Microzonation of Guwahati, on 18 January 2008

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.[17][18] 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.[17][19]

He was made Cabinet Minister for Health in 2006, and in 2011 he was also entrusted with the additional charge of Education.[11] During his tenure, three medical colleges in Jorhat, Barpeta and Tezpur were built.[20] He also initiated work for five more medical colleges in Diphu, Nagaon, Dhubri, North Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar, which are now in various startup stages.[21]

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.[6][22] Sarma joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 23 August 2015 at the residence of Amit Shah at New Delhi.[23] He was appointed as the party's Convener of the Election Management Committee for the upcoming Assembly Elections in the state.[24] 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.[25]

Sports administratorEdit

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.[26][27]

25 March 2022, Sarma was re-elected as the president of Badminton Association of India for a second term of four years from 2022 to 2026 in general body meeting in Guwahati.[28][29]

Chief Minister of AssamEdit

AppointmentEdit

On 8 May 2021, Sarma along with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were summoned to New Delhi, for discussions on the formation of a new government. Sarma and Sonowal held a series of meetings lasting more than 4 hours with BJP President J P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah. On 9 May Sonowal tendered his resignation to Governor Jagadish Mukhi, ahead of a meeting the same day to decide the next Chief Minister.[30][31][32][33] Sarma’s name was proposed by the outgoing Sonowal, BJP state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and newly elected MLA Nandita Garlosa. As no other name was presented to be chief minister, Sarma was unanimously elected as the BJP legislature leader.[34]

On 10 May 2021, Sarma was sworn in as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam by Governor Jagadish Mukhi, succeeding Sonowal.[35][36][37][38] He was congratulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his appointment.[36]

TenureEdit

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.[39] Mission Basundhara was launched under Sarma in 2021; it aims at helping residents with issues related to land and property.[40] Assam government under his leadership has announced decision of converting 740 madrasas funded by state to normal schools.[41]

His tenure experienced a rise in extrajudicial killings, which he has openly supported.[42][43][44] He has demolished many madrasas in the state under his tenure, alleging association with terrorist groups.[45]

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.[46]

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.[47] Himanta retracted from this advisory a day later.[48] Further, Assam's Home and Political Department said on 29 July that the police should carry out an intensive drive against drugs and check "all vehicles entering into Assam from Mizoram".[49][50]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Dipankar Roy (10 May 2021). "Everyone's 'Mama' is Assam's Next CM: Himanta Biswa Sarma's Own Mettle Has Catapulted Him to the Top". News18.
  2. ^ Bhatt, Sheela (15 February 2016). "Himanta Biswa Sarma: In 2016 Assam election, Bangladeshi immigrants want their own CM too". Indian Express.
  3. ^ Ghosh, Abantika (20 May 2016). "I told Rahul Gandhi you will not cross 25 seats, he said we will win: BJP MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma". The Indian Express. Retrieved 21 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b "Himanta Biswa Sarma: Early Life, INC & BJP Political Career, Books, Controversies & more". The Sentinel Assam. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Former Gogoi close aide Himanta Biswa Sarma named convener of NDA's northeast alliance". DNA India. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c d "Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma" (PDF). Government of Assam. Retrieved 30 August 2012.[permanent dead link] (This paragraph was originally referenced to this source, a lot of the content was sourced to this)
  7. ^ Pisharoty, Sangeeta Barooah (9 May 2021). "Assam Has a New CM – Himanta Biswa Sarma. What Does It Spell For the Future of Assam Politics?". The Wire. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Seal, Rajashree, ed. (10 May 2021). "BJP's Troubleshooter, NE's Most Influential Politician Himanta Biswa Sarma to Take Oath as Assam CM Today". india.com. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  9. ^ Kalita, Prabin (7 April 2021). "Assam: Don't want my son to step into politics, says Himanta Biswa Sarma". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Himanta's son Nandil becomes captain of prestigious Doon School". Northeast Now. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ a b "Who's Who". www.assamassembly.gov.in. Assam Legislative Assembly. Archived from the original on 15 September 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Assam election results 2016: Meet Himanta Biswa Sarma, ex-Congress minister, the man behind BJP's historic victory". The Financial Express. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Proud moment for Cotton University as Himanta Sarma becomes the institute's seventh alumnus to don Assam CM's hat". The New Indian Express. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Kalita, Kangkan (10 May 2021). "As news breaks, Cotton Univ celebrates its 'very own CM'". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Assam's Cotton University: Institute that gave state 7 of 15 its chief ministers". India Today. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Affidavit. pg 7. Chief Election Officer, Assam. Retrieved on 22 September 2021.
  17. ^ a b IANS (15 September 2015). "Former Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Quits Assembly". NDTV. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  18. ^ Choudhury, Ratnadip (9 May 2021). "From Student Body To Assam Chief Minister: Long Journey For Himanta Biswa Sarma". NDTV. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "Himanta Biswa Sarma". Business Standard India. Archived from the original on 9 September 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Overview: Brief History of Jorhat Medical College". jorhatmedicalcollege.in. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  21. ^ Haq, Zia (3 May 2021). "Assam: The phenomenon called Himanta Biswa Sarma". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Himanta resigns from MLA post. Telegraph India. 15 September 2015. Archived on 1 August 2018.
  23. ^ IANS (23 August 2015). "Former Assam minister Himanta Biswa meets Amit Shah, to join BJP". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link) CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  24. ^ Durba Ghosh. PTI (9 May 2021). "Dogged determination, hard work rewards Himanta Biswa Sarma with the CM's mantle". mint. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link) CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  25. ^ "Minister's Portfolio, Parliamentary Affairs, Government Of Assam, India". parliamentaryaffairs.assam.gov.in. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  26. ^ Himanta Biswa Sarma becomes ACA chief. Assam Tribune (13 June 2016). Retrieved on 31 August 2017. Archived on 1 August 2018.
  27. ^ PTI (11 June 2016). "Himanta Biswa Sarma Set To Become New Assam Cricket Association Chief". NDTV. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link) CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  28. ^ ANI (25 March 2022). "Himanta Biswa Sarma re-elected unopposed as BAI president". ThePrint. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  29. ^ "Himanta Biswa Sarma re-elected as BAI president, Gopichand named among vice presidents". Sportstar. 25 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  30. ^ PTI (9 May 2021). "Sonowal resigns as CM before BJP MLAs meet to elect new leader". Business Standard India. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  31. ^ PTI (9 May 2021). "Sarbananda Sonowal tenders resignation, prior to election of new Assam CM". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Sarbananda Sonowal resigns as chief minister; Assam BJP MLAs' meet today". Northeast Now. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  33. ^ Parashar, Shipra (9 May 2021). "Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal submits his resignation to Governor". Zee News. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  34. ^ PTI (9 May 2021). "Himanta Biswa Sarma set to become chief minister of Assam". The Economic Times. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  35. ^ Sharma, Vibha (9 May 2021). "Himanta Biswa Sarma is new chief minister of Assam". Tribune India. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ a b "Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn-in as 15th chief minister of Assam". The Times of India. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  37. ^ "Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn in as Assam CM". The Hindu. 10 May 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  38. ^ ANI (10 May 2021). "Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn in as Chief Minister of Assam". Business Standard India. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  39. ^ "Adopt 'decent family planning' policy to reduce poverty: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma tells Muslims". Scroll.in. Scroll. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  40. ^ Parashar, Utpal (21 September 2021). "Assam Police arrest 450 land brokers in crackdown against 'Dalal Raj'". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 21 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  41. ^ "Assam: Bill to end practice of running madrassa by state govt tabled in Assembly; Congress, AIUDF oppose". Times Now. 28 December 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  42. ^ "Extrajudicial killings on the rise in Assam". Kashmir Media Service. 24 July 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  43. ^ "Himanta Biswa Sarma Defends Police 'Encounters', Says Those 'Fleeing Custody' Should Be Shot". The Wire. 6 July 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  44. ^ Das, Gaurav (10 July 2021). "With CM's Endorsement, Assam Police Forges Ahead on 'Encounter' Spree". The Wire. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  45. ^ "Assam bulldozes another madrassa 'linked to al-Qaeda'". The Hindu. 4 September 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  46. ^ Saikia, Arunabh (28 July 2021). "Does Assam CM's belligerence over border dispute mark turn from coalition builder to regional bully?". Scroll.in. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  47. ^ Mazumdar, Prasanta (30 July 2021). "Do not visit Mizoram: Assam travel advisory for its people". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  48. ^ "No curbs on travel to Mizoram, says Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma". The New Indian Express. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  49. ^ Bhardwaj, Ananya (31 July 2021). "Mizoram says Assam govt order on checking of vehicles for drugs 'harassment', writes to MHA". ThePrint. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  50. ^ Singh, Abhilash (30 July 2021). "Mizoram Govt condemns Assam's order to check all vehicles from Mizoram". EastMojo. Retrieved 22 September 2021.

External linksEdit