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|14th Chief Minister of Assam|
24 May 2016
|Preceded by||Tarun Gogoi|
|Member of Assam Legislative Assembly|
|Preceded by||Rajib Lochan Pegu|
|Preceded by||Joy Chandra Nagbanshi|
|Succeeded by||Jibantara Ghatowar|
|Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports|
26 May 2014 – 23 May 2016
|Prime Minister||Narendra Modi|
|Preceded by||Jitendra Singh|
|Succeeded by||Vijay Goel|
|Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development|
26 May 2014 – 9 November 2014
|Prime Minister||Narendra Modi|
|Succeeded by||Rajiv Pratap Rudy|
|Member of parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Preceded by||Ranee Narah|
|Preceded by||Paban Singh Ghatowar|
|Succeeded by||Paban Singh Ghatowar|
31 October 1961 |
Dinjan, Assam, India
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party (2011-present)
Asom Gana Parishad (2001-11)
|Alma mater||Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University|
Sarbananda Sonowal (Assamese: সৰ্বানন্দ সোণোৱাল; born 31 October 1961) is an Indian politician who has been Chief Minister of Assam since 2016. Previously he served as Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs and Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development in the Narendra Modi Government.
He was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha from the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency in Assam as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He has previously served as the president for BJP Assam, 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.
Early life and education
Sarbananda Sonowal was born on 31 October 1961 in Molokgaon located in the Dibrugarh district of Assam to Shri Jibeswar Sonowal and Dineswari Sonowal. He did his Bachelor of English Honours from Dibrugarh University and went on to do his LLB from guwahati University. He also started his political career from here.
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 Assam's Moran constituency. 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. 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. He is not married.
- 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
- 2016: Declared as BJP Chief minister candidate for 2016 Assam assembly elections.
- 2016: Member of Assam Legislative Assembly from Majuli Constituency
- 2016–Present: 14th Chief Minister of Assam
Social and cultural activities
- President - All Assam Students Union, 1992–1999
- Chairman - North East Students Organisation, 1996–2000
Sports and clubs
- Football, Cricket and Badminton
Role removing the IMDT Act
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."
- PTI (22 May 2016). "Sarbananda Sonowal resigns as Union Minister". The Financial Express. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Portfolios of the Union Council of Ministers". PM India. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Ballotin: Eye on Dispur".
- "Not against Muslims, only illegal migrants: Sarbananda Sonowal".
- "Ahead of polls, polarisation".
- Mohan, Archis (27 May 2014). "Modi does a balancing act" – via Business Standard.
- "In Assam, the Congress spars with BJP over its chief ministerial candidate's past".
- "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) - Northeast - BJP is not communal, says Sonowal".
- "BJP departs from practice, names Sarbananda Sonowal as Assam CM candidate".
- "Sarbananda Sonowal takes over as Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports".
- "Minister of State (Independent Charge): Sarbananda Sonowal".
- "Ahead of Assam elections, BJP names Sarbananda Sonowal as CM candidate - Firstpost". 28 January 2016.
- "Promising Assam Leader Sarbananda Sonowal in Cabinet". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
Paban Singh Ghatowar
|Member of Parliament
2004 – 2009
Paban Singh Ghatowar
|Member of Parliament
2014 – 2016
|Chief Minister of Assam
24 May 2016 – Present