Himanta Biswa Sarma the current Chief Minister is credited for the BJP’s stunning victory in 2021 Assam Assembly Elections. Just a year and a half before the Assembly Elections, the Central Government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act which gives Indian citizenship to minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka and Afghanistan. The act made the people of Assam come to the roads in protest against this government. This act was dangerous for Assam as Assam was already taking a burden of foreigners from the past. The passing of this act brought a huge anti-incumbency against the government which even the Chief Minister of that time failed to handle.
As the CM and other leaders failed to handle the situation, Himanta Biswa Sarma took matters into his own hands he conducted meetings in every nook and corner of the state. He also saw it as a chance to build a better image of himself than Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Even after facing backlash from the public he visited every place and tried to assure people that CAA would not harm the Assamese community, and people also got convinced by his promises. With these rallies, he also had an eye on the 2021 elections.
When the protest was going severe Himanta Biswa Sarma had done a lot of closed-door meetings with the leaders of the CAA movement, and brought many of them to the BJP. He also put many of his men in the CAA movement, with the help of whom he got every single information about the plans of those organizations.
Then came COVID-19 in March 2020 during which Himanta Biswa Sarma served the people of the state wholeheartedly. It would not be wrong to say that he was on the ground 24/7, for which he again gained back his lost popularity among the masses. He played a key role in bringing students who were stuck in different parts of the country back to the state. He not only depended on hospitals but also turned many stadiums into hospitals during that time.
The patients who were admitted got terrific care and food in the hospitals. There was hardly a shortage of oxygen in the state, he also bought oxygen and PPT kits from China so that the state doesn’t face any shortage. With the management of COVID-19, he was also parallelly preparing for the elections he built a strong PR team at that time who were posting about his efforts during COVID-19 on social media.
After the 1st wave of the pandemic real preparation for the elections started Himanta Biswa Sarma was determined for the CM chair this time. His team prepared a song for his campaign which says ‘Aahise Aahise Himanta Aahise, Axare Botora Loi ( Himanta is coming with new hopes). This song was the background music of every padayatra and rallies Himanta Biswa Sarma attended. People believed that Himanta would bring new hope for the people and people also danced a lot to this song during the rallies.
Himanta Biswa Sarma mainly targeted young voters and women during the campaign of 2021 Lok Sabha elections. His PR team worked amazingly for him which is one of the main reasons for his success. They established him as the mama(maternal uncle) of the state and in a few days, the youths of the state started calling him as mama whenever he visited a place for rallies or meetings. He also asked his PR team to make memes on him in the form of videos and pictures and that was a massive success. In the next few days, social media was full of memes on Himanta Biswa Sarma and that got massive support throughout different platforms of social media. He also promised that young boys and girls would get a scooter if they do well in their 12th exams, and that was effective young stars in the age group of 18-30 voted for the BJP in large numbers.
The second target for Himanta Biswa Sarma was the women voters. He promised the women to increase the monthly amount they get through the Arunudoi Scheme, Arunudoi is a scheme that gives monthly money to financially weak women. The second promise he made to the women’s group was that the Government would pay their depth which they took from microfinance. This promise also helped the BJP sweep the elections.
Not only these Himanta took charge of the entire campaign of the BJP in Assam. From solving infighting in the party to giving company to candidates during the filing of nominations to addressing rallies and mobilizing workers Himanta was the key man behind all the activities. Himanta also attacked the AIUDF supremo Badruddin Ajmal during election rallies and tried to establish fear among the masses that a vote to Congress would help Ajmal get nearer to Dispur. Himanta made people understand that people needed to defeat Ajmal and Congress if they wanted to protect their culture.
Himanta also promised the youths of Assam 1 lakh government jobs within a year after coming back to power. He made a promise to the Satras of Assam the government would protect the Satras from the hands of illegal immigrants all these messages had an effect on the minds of people which helped the BJP to win the elections. He also managed to solve infighting in the party and make the leaders who were denied tickets understand that they should not work against the party. On 10th May 2021, he was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Assam.
Today almost after three years of his Chief Ministership, his popularity remained the same as can be seen in the recently released India Today Mood Of The Nation Polls. He is ranked 3rd in the list of popular chief ministers of India. Himanta Biswa Sarma’s popularity is now not only limited to Assam but he is now popular across the country. He is the 1st Chief Minister of Assam who campaigned for a national party outside the North-East.
By Krishanu Sarma