Making the announcement, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said Himanta Biswa Sarma, a state Congress heavyweight who had recently joined BJP along with many Congress MLAs, will be the committee's convener.

The party's decision is a break from its strategy in Bihar where it had not projected a chief ministerial candidate.  It had also not formed any statewide election committee and instead put many outsiders as well as local leaders in charge of various zones.

A massive loss in Bihar triggered a backlash from within the party over its campaign. Sonowal currently holds  independent charge of Sports and Youths Affairs Ministry.

Javadekar parried a query on whether Sonowal will be the party's chief ministerial face, saying a decision will be taken by the Parliamentary Board at an appropriate time.

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