Sarbananda Sonowal

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Sarbananda Sonowal
Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal.jpg
14th Chief Minister of Assam
Assumed office
24 May 2016
GovernorBanwarilal Purohit
Padmanabha Acharya
Jagdish Mukhi
Preceded byTarun Gogoi
Member of Assam Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
1 June 2016
Preceded byRajib Lochan Pegu
In office
Preceded byJoy Chandra Nagbanshi
Succeeded byJibantara Ghatowar
Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports
In office
26 May 2014 – 23 May 2016[1]
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byJitendra Singh
Succeeded byJitendra Singh (BJP politician)
Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development
In office
26 May 2014 – 9 November 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byRajiv Pratap Rudy
Member of parliament for Lakhimpur
In office
5 June 2014 – 23 May 2016
Preceded byRanee Narah
Succeeded byPradan Baruah
Member of parliament for Dibrugarh
In office
13 May 2004 – 15 May 2009
Preceded byPaban Singh Ghatowar
Succeeded byPaban Singh Ghatowar
Personal details
Born (1961-10-31) 31 October 1961 (age 58)
Dibrugarh, Assam, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party (2011-present)
Other political
Asom Gana Parishad (2001-11)
ParentsJibeswar Sonowal (father)
Dineswari Sonowal (mother)
Alma materDibrugarh University (BA)
Gauhati University (LLB)

Sarbananda Sonowal (Assamese: [xɔɹbanɔndɔ xʊnʊwal]) (born 31 October 1961) is an Indian politician, who served as the former Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India. He has since then served as the Chief Minister of Assam since 2016 .[2][3]

He was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha from the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency in Assam as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.[4][5] He has previously served as the president for BJP Assam,[6] and is also a National Executive Member of the party. Sonowal was the president of the All Assam Students Union from 1992 to 1999. Until January 2011, he was a member of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) political party but later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.[7]

In May 2016, he was elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly from Majuli and was sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Assam.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Sarbananda Sonowal was born on 31 October 1961 in Molokgaon located in the Dibrugarh district of Assam to Jibeswar Sonowal and Dineswari Sonowal.[8] He completed his bachelor's degree with English Honours from Hanumanbaksh Kanoi College under Dibrugarh University and his LLB from Gauhati University.

Political career[edit]

Sarbananda Sonowal was the President of Assam's oldest student body, the All Assam Students Union from 1992 to 1999. After that, he became a member of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). In 2001, he was elected the MLA from Moran constituency of Assam. In 2004, he became a Lok Sabha member representing Dibrugarh constituency and continued to be so till 2009 before joining the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2011.

In 2014 general election for Lok Sabha he was appointed to head State's 16th Lok Sabha Elections Assam by Bharatiya Janata Party, and in the same year he was also elected as Member of Parliament, 16th Lok Sabha from Lakhimpur Constituency, he was then appointed as Union Minister of State-Independent Charge, of the Government of India under the Modi Government at the centre.

He was selected as the CM candidate of BJP for the 2016 Assam Assembly Election. On 19 May 2016, Sarbananda Sonowal won the Assembly Election from Majuli Constituency making himself the next Chief Minister of Assam from Bharatiya Janata Party .


Sarbananda Sonowal resigned from all executive posts within AGP and left the party, due to dissatisfaction with and amongst the senior leadership of the party who were trying to forge an alliance with a party that was against the scrapping of the controversial IMDT Act.[9] On 8 February 2011, Sonowal joined BJP in the presence of the then BJP National President Nitin Gadkari and senior leaders like Varun Gandhi, Vijay Goel, Bijoya Chakravarty and state BJP president Ranjit Dutta. He was immediately appointed as a member of the BJP National Executive and later on the State Spokesperson of the BJP unit, prior to his current assignment to head the state as the new president. On 28 January 2016, BJP Parliamentary Board announced Sarbananda Sonowal as BJP Chief Ministerial candidate of Assam.[10] He is not married.[11]

Positions held[edit]

Social and cultural activities[edit]

Sports and clubs[edit]

  • Football, Cricket and Badminton

Role removing the IMDT Act[edit]

Faced with the problem of massive migration from Bangladesh into Assam, the government tried to put up legislation in place to detect and deport foreign nationals. Eventually, the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983 (IMDT Act) came into being following the Assam Accord signed between the Government of India and the All Assam Students Union (AASU) to end the decade-long anti-foreigner agitation.

The IMDT Act is an instrument passed by Indian Parliament when there was no MP elected from Assam, to detect illegal immigrants (from Bangladesh) and expel them from Assam. While the IMDT Act operates only in Assam, the Foreigners Act (1946) applies to the rest of the country. It is applicable to those Bangladeshi nationals who settled in Assam on or after 25 March 1971. Under the Act, the onus of proving the citizenship of a suspected illegal alien rests on the complainant, often the police. On the other hand, according to the provisions of the Foreigners Act, the onus lies with the person suspected to be an alien.

Sonowal took the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration to the Supreme Court. By its judgement dated 12 July 2005, the court struck down the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983, as unconstitutional and termed Bangladeshi infiltration an "external aggression" and directed that "the Bangladesh nationals who have illegally crossed the border and have trespassed into Assam or are living in other parts of the country have no legal right of any kind to remain in India and they are liable to be deported."[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PTI (22 May 2016). "Sarbananda Sonowal resigns as Union Minister". The Financial Express. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Portfolios of the Union Council of Ministers". PM India. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Ballotin: Eye on Dispur". 16 March 2016.
  4. ^ Biswas, Bivekananda (26 December 2015). "Not against Muslims, only illegal migrants: Sarbananda Sonowal". Business Standard India.
  5. ^ "Ahead of polls, polarisation".
  6. ^ Mohan, Archis (27 May 2014). "Modi does a balancing act". Business Standard India – via Business Standard.
  7. ^ "In Assam, the Congress spars with BJP over its chief ministerial candidate's past". web|url= Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) - Northeast - BJP is not communal, says Sonowal|publisher=}}
  8. ^ a b "सर्बानंद सोनोवाल 1478". Hindustan Dainik.
  9. ^ "Assam influx: Scrapping of IMDT Act brought AIUDF's Badruddin Ajmal into politics as saviour of minorities".
  10. ^ "BJP departs from practice, names Sarbananda Sonowal as Assam CM candidate". The Economic Times. 28 January 2016.
  11. ^ "असम में कांग्रेस का 15 वर्षों का राज खत्म करने वाले सोनोवाल से जुड़ी 15 बातें". External link in |website= (help)
  12. ^ "Sarbananda Sonowal takes over as Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports".
  13. ^ "Minister of State (Independent Charge): Sarbananda Sonowal".
  14. ^ "Ahead of Assam elections, BJP names Sarbananda Sonowal as CM candidate - Firstpost". 28 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Promising Assam Leader Sarbananda Sonowal in Cabinet". Retrieved 6 June 2014.

External links[edit]