Himanta Biswa Sarma during a press conference at Janata Bhawan on Tuesday

Guwahati: Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, considered one of the most influential leaders of the state, has expressed in a series of tweets that he has no interest in contesting assembly polls next year.

The North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) chief, who has been in the forefront of the anti-Congress alliance in the region, said that his role is only to get his party in power in the upcoming assembly elections.

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“As I have already indicated in several public platform that I am not interested in contesting the next assembly election, my role will be limited to contribute whatever I can for my party and for my state. For Assam future we need to have a strong nationalist govt,” tweeted Sarma on Tuesday.

This comes at the backdrop of recent speculations as to who would be the next chief ministerial candidate for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state in 2021.

There are voices within and outside the party hinting at some of the faces including that of Sarma as a suitable candidate for the post of chief minister.

Earlier, it was minister of state for health Pijush Hazarika who said that Sarma has all the “qualities” to become the next chief minister.

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He said that Sarma has been a successful minister for the state and is eligible to become CM. However, Sarma refuted the claim by saying “everyone in Assam has the eligibility to be the chief minister” and that the decision would be taken by the party.

Setting the target for 2021 polls, the state health minister said in a tweet, “Few people feel that I am after some post and position. My only ambition is to see a BJP govt with 100+ seats. In my last few months, I want to work for my state as much as possible to have eternal satisfaction. Janani Janmabhumischa Swargadapi Gariyai’ (Mother and Motherland are superior even to Heaven).”

Sarma had previously stated that in response to former chief minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi’s claim that Rajya Sabha MP and ex-Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to become the CM face for BJP in 2021 that party has not even decided whether they announce chief ministerial candidate before the assembly elections.

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