Sarbananda Sonowal

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Sarbananda Sonowal
S Sonowal official portrait.jpg
Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports
Assumed office
26 May 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Minister of State-Skill Development
In office
26 May 2014 – 9 November 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Vice President Hamid Ansari
Minister of State-Entrepreneurship
In office
26 May 2014 – 9 November 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Vice President Hamid Ansari
Member of the India Parliament
for Lakhimpur
Assumed office
Member of Parliament
In office
Member of Legislative Assembly
In office
Constituency Moran
President-All Assam Students Union (AASU)
In office
Chairman (NESO)
In office
Personal details
Born (1962-10-31) 31 October 1962 (age 53)
Dinjan, Dibrugarh, Assam
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Alma mater Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University
Religion Hinduism

Sarbananda Sonowal (Assamese:সৰ্বানন্দ সোণোৱাল) (born:1962, at Dinjan, Dibrugarh) is an Indian politician who is currently the Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs.[1] Recently he has been declared CM candidate for upcoming Assam State assembly election.[2]

He is a Member of Parliament of the 16th Lok Sabha from the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) representing Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency in Assam, India.[3][4] He has previously served as the president for BJP Assam Pradesh,[5] 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. He is popularly known as a firebrand and dynamic youth politician, also regarded as a Jatiya Nayak of Assam, a title given by the AASU, the oldest student body of the state.[6]

Biographical data[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[7]

Positions held[edit]

  • 2001-2004: Elected as MLA, Assam Legislative Assembly from Moran Constituency
  • 2004: Elected as Member of Parliament, 14th Lok Sabha from Dibrugarh Constituency
  • 2005: Appointed Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs
  • 2006: Appointed Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • 2011: Appointed as National Executive Member of-Bharatiya Janata Party
  • 2011: Appointed as State Spokesperson and General Secretary for Assam Bharatiya Janata Party
  • 2012: Appointed as State President for Assam Bharatiya Janata Party
  • 2014: Appointed to head State's 16th Lok Sabha Elections Assam Bharatiya Janata Party
  • 2014: Elected as Member of Parliament, 16th Lok Sabha from Lakhimpur Constituency
  • 2014: Appointed as Union Minister of State-Independent Charge, Republic of India[8][9]
  • 2016: Declared as BJP Chief minister candidate for 2016 Assam assembly elections.[10]

Social and cultural activities[edit]

  • President - All Assam Students Union, 1992–1999
  • Chairman - North East Students Organisation, 1996–2000

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 Tribunals) 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."[11]


External links[edit]