Former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal is in the national capital to meet senior BJP leaders, sources told news agency PTI. His arrival this afternoon comes amid speculation of an impending reshuffle in the Union Cabinet and his possible induction into it.
Mr Sonowal was chief minister of the BJP-led Assam government from 2016 till last month.
Even though the BJP-led alliance returned to power, Sonowal was not made chief minister and was replaced by Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Sarbananda Sonowal is likely to meet a few top BJP leaders, the sources said.
He met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a dinner hosted by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi last night in Guwahati.
Mr Sarma was also present at the dinner held at the Assam Raj Bhavan.
There has been speculation that Mr Sonowal, who belongs to Assam’s indigenous Sonowal-Kachari tribe, was called by the party leadership to the national capital for consultations ahead of a reshuffle of the Narendra Modi cabinet.
There were reports that Mr Sonowal is one of the top contenders for a post in the cabinet.
Mr Sarma said recently that before he was given the state’s top post, BJP president JP Nadda had said that Mr Sonowal would be given a new responsibility, without specifying what that could be.
As Sarbananda Sonowal ran a government successfully for five years and helped the party returned to power, there is a possibility of him being “suitably rehabilitated” by the party, the sources said.
Even PM Modi had acknowledged his contribution to the party and the government.
“My valued colleague @sarbanandsonwal Ji was at the helm of a pro-people and pro-development administration over the last five years. His contribution towards Assam’s progress and strengthening the party in the state is immense,” PM Modi tweeted on May 10, the day Sarma was sworn in as the chief minister.
Among those who could be inducted into the Modi cabinet include Congress-turned BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, representatives from BJP allies JD-U, Apna Dal (S), media reports said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)