Bharatiya Janta Party leader and president of the Assam Badminton Association Himanta Biswa Sarma was elected as the new interim head of the Badminton Association of India on Sunday.

“We are very happy to announce that Himanta Biswa Sarma has been unanimously given the charge to become the acting president till the next elections in 2018. It was a consensual decision. Everyone realises that badminton has to move forward and it will be best served by him,” said Anup Narang, BAI General Secretary.

The post of president was left vacant following the demise of former president Akhilesh Das Gupta. Sarma was the front-runner to become the interim head and was being supported by the senior members of the association.

An executive council meeting was called and Sarma was appointed interim president. “He was invited to attend the meeting as a special guest and then he was inducted as a senior vice-president of BAI to clear him for the post,” a BAI official said.

Akhilesh Das Gupta’s son Viraj Sagar Das, who was elected as the Uttar Pradesh Badminton Association president last week, was inducted as a senior vice-president of the governing body.

During the meeting, it was also decided that the Indian Open Super Series will be called the Akilesh Das Gupta World Super Series tournament henceforth.

“India Open will now be called Akhilesh Das Gupta World Super Series as a tribute to our former president, who took badminton to greater heights by bringing this tournament to India, besides the Thomas and Uber Cup and Premier badminton League,” said Narang.