GUWAHATI: The BJP central leadership on Friday appointed journalist-turned-Assam assembly speaker, Ranjit Kumar Das, as the party’s state unit president.
“BJP National President Amit Shah has appointed Assam BJP legislator Ranjit Das as the state party chief,” BJP said in a statement issued in Delhi.
Das, 50, is an old horse in the BJP in Assam, having joined it in 1992. He will replace BJP’s face in the state and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who had guided the party to power for the first time in the state this year. It was also under Sonowal’s leadership that BJP had won seven of the state’s 14 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Reports that Das will head the party were doing the rounds for a while. He had the backing of Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Das, the two-time MLA, had won the 2016 polls from western Assam’s Sorbhog constituency and subsequently, he was elected as the assembly speaker unanimously. An IIS, he had also worked for several English and Assamese dailies.
Das was away in London on tour and was not available for comments but the finance minister had tweeted: “My
congratulations to Shri Ranjit Das, MLA on being appointed president of @BJP4Assam and gratitude to @BJP4India president Shri @AmitShah”.
Meanwhile, according to BJP insiders, names that were being discussed for the post of speaker include that of MLAs Siddhartha Bhattacharya and Ranjit Dutta (both BJP) and Hitendra Nath Goswami (AGP).