New Delhi: The BJP is likely to finalise its choice of chief ministerial nominee for Assam in a day or two as internal consultation within the party has begun amid suspense over whether it will continue with incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal or bring in a new face.

Sonowal and his powerful ministerial colleague Himanta Biswa Sarma are being seen as the two most obvious contenders for the top job.

BJP sources said internal confabulation is on in the party, and its parliamentary board may soon name central observers to preside over the meeting of its newly-elected party MLAs in Guwahati where they will pick their leader.

Central observers generally convey the choice of the party top brass to the state leadership which in turn is endorsed by the MLAs.

Also read: Assam 2021 final results: BJP’s lotus blooms again

The ruling BJP-led NDA has retained its grip on Assam, bagging 74 of the 126 assembly constituencies that went to polls, while the opposition Congress-led grand alliance managed to clinch just 50 seats. The saffron party alone won 60 constituencies, the same as in 2016.

The BJP’s decision to not name its chief ministerial candidate during the polls had fuelled speculation about the likely choice in the eventuality of the party retaining power.

While Sonowal, who hails from upper Assam, a BJP stronghold, is seen as a soft-spoken leader with a clean image, Sarma enjoys the image of an efficient administrator with sharp political instincts.

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