BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma taking oath as Assam's Cabinet minister in Guwahati on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi is also seen. (PTI photo)
Himanta Biswa Sarma, a former Congressman who is seen as number two in the new BJP government in Assam, was today made convenor of a newly-floated North-East Democratic Alliance.
The new platform of the BJP was formed for development of all northeastern states, hours after Sarbananda Sonowal was sworn-in as the 14th chief minister of Assam
The alliance was formed at a meeting chaired by BJP president Amit Shah and attended by Mr Sonowal and his Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim counterparts Kalikho Pul, TR Zeliang and PK Chamling respectively, party sources said tonight.
The meeting was also attended by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and BJP North East Zonal Organising secretary Ajay Jamwal, they added.
"This alliance will be called North East Democratic Alliance. I congratulate Shri @himantabiswa on being declared as Convenor of NEDA," Mr Shah later tweeted.
"Main objective of the NEDA will be all-round development of North East and better co-ordination among the states and central govt," he said in another tweet.
"CM of Assam,Arunachal Pradesh,Nagaland and Sikkim proposed to join an alliance of non-congress parties in N.East," he further said.
Mr Sarma, a former Tarun Gogoi aide who quit Congress last year and was a key strategist in BJP's campaign, also took oath today as minister today.