Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's inadvertently calling Amit Shah "Prime Minister" at a public event in the state has given the opposition Congress ammo to target the Home Minister.
A senior BJP leader, who asked not to be named, said it was a slip of the tongue, but that hasn't stopped the Congress from sharing the clip and raising questions like whether the ruling party has picked its "next Prime Minister".
Mr. Sarma, speaking in Assamese, welcomed "Prime Minister Amit Shah" and "Home Minister Narendra Modi"—an obvious mix-up—as he addressed a crowd of hundreds sitting under a large tent.
The Assam Congress, in a post on its official Facebook page, alluded to Mr. Sarma's calling Amit Shah "Prime Minister" as a deliberate act, and drew parallels with an Assam MP who used to call Mr. Sarma "Chief Minister" when Sarbananda Sonowal was the Chief Minister. At that time, Mr. Sarma was a minister in the Assam government.
Mr. Sarma became Chief Minister eventually after the BJP won the Assam elections again.
"When Sri Sarbananda Sonowal Ji was the Chief Minister of Assam, Tezpur MP Sri Pallab Lochan Das had on several occasions referred to Cabinet Minister Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma Ji as the Chief Minister of Assam in public! Is the incumbent CM doing a Das? "Hasthe BJP decided on its next PM?" the Congress said in its Facebook post.
"Or a campaign has been launched to promote Amit Shah Ji as the PM to replace Narendra Modi Ji. Going by Das' example, it doesn't appear to be a slip of the tongue. " The Assam Congress said in the Facebook post.