As BJP-led alliance is all set form govt in Assam again, a look back at the political journey of Sarbananda Sonowal

From winning Mr Diburgarh in college to the second win as the Chief Minister of Assam, here’s all you need to know about Minister Sonowal

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday said that he was confident of Bharatiya Janata Party-led government retaining the power in the state for the second consecutive term.

Sarbananda Sonowal is the current Assam Chief Minister and will remain the same for the next five years. Sonowal is the 14th Chief Minister of Assam. He is a member of the Bhartiya Janta Party and represents the Majuli constituency in the Assam State Legislative Assembly. He is the first BJP leader but the second Tribal to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Assam.

In the Assam election 2021, BJP has comfortably led over the Congress-led alliance. BJP-led alliance has won 77 seats out of 119 seats. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that "People bless us, BJP to retain power in Assam."

Sonowal has served as the Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India, during the 2014 general election for Lok Sabha he was elected as the 16th member of Lok Sabha from the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha Constituency in Assam as the member of BJP from Assam. He was also a National Executive Member of the party. He was also appointed as Union Minister of State-Independent Charge, of the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He served as the president of BJP from Assam and was elected as the Chief Minister in 2016. In May 2016, he was elected to represent BJP from Majuli at the Assam Legislative Assembly and he was sworn as the 14th Chief Minister of Assam.

He is known as 'firebrand' and 'dynamic youth politician', also regarded as 'Jatiya Nayak of Assam', this title is given by AASU, the oldest student union of the state.

From 1992 to 1999, Sarbananda was the president of the All Assam Studnet Union (AASU). Until, January 2011, he was a member of Ason Gana Parishad (abbreviated as AGP), in 2004, he was elected as the Lok Sabha member representing the Dibrugarh constituency and continued to be so till 2009 and later he moved on to Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).

Sarbananda Sonowal resigned from all the posts within AGP and left the party, because of the dissatisfaction with and among the senior leaders of the party who were trying to ally with a party that was against the scraping of the IMDT Act.

In 2011 Sonowal joined the Bhartiya Janta Party in the presence of then BJP National President Nitin Gadkari and other senior leaders. And in January 2011 BJP Parliamentary Board announced that Sonowal will be the BJP Chief Ministerial candidate of Assam.

He is a Chief Minister who has always concentrated on the art and culture of the state, has always actively participated in the events to promote the same. The annual Guwahati International Film Festival was started during his tenure. It was organized by the State-Government-owned Film Studio - Jyoti Chitraban Society in association with the Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute. The film festival is organized every year from 2018, the first edition was held in Oct. 2018 and due to the present Covid-19 pandemic, it has been postponed.

He played a significant role in removing the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act (IMDT Act). When the Assam face a problem of massive immigration then the government brought the IMDT Act was signed between the Central Government and the All Assam Students Union to end the decade-long anti-foreigner agitation.

This Act detects the Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and expels them from Assam. It is only applicable for the Bangladeshi nationals who have settled on or after 25th March 1971. Under this Act, the onus of providing the citizenship of a suspected illegal foreigner rests on the complainant, often the police. And it is not the same with the Foreigners Act, applicable in the rest of the country except Assam. Sonowal took this issue of Bangladeshi infiltration to the Supreme Court of India. As per the judgment dated July 12, 2005, the court abolished the Act and termed Bangladeshi infiltration an 'external aggression'.

Sarbananda Sonowal was born on 31 October 1962 in Muluk Gaon in the Dibrugarh district of Assam. He completed his Bachelor's degree in English (Hons) from Dibrugarh University and his LLB from Gauhati University. We won the title 'Mr. Diburgarh Strongman', during his college days. 

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