GUWAHATI: As Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced the name of Himanta Biswa Sarma as the legislature party leader, Sarma sat on the podium alongside Tomar looking calm and composed.
The tranquil look on Sarma's face felt as if he was praying to God or remembering his parents and seeking their blessings.
As soon as Tomar announced his name and asked the 60 BJP MLAs to raise their hand in support, the hall resonated with a loud and huge round of applause as all the 60 MLAs stood up in support of their new leader.
BJP's observers Tomar, Arun Singh, B L Santosh, and Baijayant Panda along with Assam MPs Pallab Lochan Das, Dilip Saikia were present at the legislature party meeting.
Tomar was among the first to felicitate Sarma with the traditional Assamese gamocha followed by outgoing CM Sarbananda Sonowal who patted Sarma on the back after garlanding him with the gamocha. Sonowal's pat seemed like an elder brother's pat full of love and support for the younger brother.
A beaming Sarma removed his mask, showed the victory sign as both Sonowal and Sarma posed for the camera. Sonowal had his arm around Sarma as the cameras clicked.
Meanwhile, Assam BJP President Ranjeet Kr Dass also felicitated Sarma and congratulated him on his role, and wished him.
It is to be mentioned here that, it definitely was not an easy job for the party's top brass to choose between Sonowal and Himanta as both have their strong support base within the party and among the elected MLAs.
Now few more formalities are to be completed before the official announcement is made naming Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam's next CM.
Sarma has won the Jalukbari seat 5 times (2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 & 2021), lost just once in 1996. A former Congress politician, Sarma has served as the Cabinet Minister in all the 3 terms of the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress Government. He joined BJP in 2015 due to differences with the then CM Tarun Gogoi.