Know Your Chief Minister

Early Life

Born on October 31, 1962 at Molokgaon, Dibrugarh district to Jibeswar Sonowal and Dineswari Sonowal, he is a devout follower of Vaishnavism.

Shri Sonowal completed his initial schooling from his village and moved to Dibrugarh town for higher studies where he did his Bachelor of English Honours from Dibrugarh University. Finally, he completed his L.L.B from Gauhati University from where he started his political career.

Political Career

Sarbananda Sonowal was the President of All Assam Students Union from 1992 to 1999. After that, he became a member of AsomGanaParishad (AGP). In 2001, he was elected the MLA from Moran Assembly Constituency. In 2004, he became the Member of Parliament (MP) LokSabha representing Dibrugarh Constituency and continued till 2009 before joining Bharatiya Janata Party in 2011. He went on to become the BJP state unit President in 2012 and was credited with raising the party's tally to seven from the earlier four in the 2014 Parliamentary polls. In the same Parliamentary Polls, he was elected from Lakhimpur Constituency as Member of Parliament (MP) LokSabha and Honorable Prime Minister appointed him as Union Minister of State-Independent Charge for Youth-Affairs and Sports.

During his tenure as Union Minister Shri Sonowal was the driving force behind bringing the following historical event into Assam and North Eastern Region:

- 12th South Asian Games to Assam and North East of India. It was first ever International event held in this part of country.

- The 19th National Youth Festival was held at Guwahati, Assam, from 8th to 12th January 2015. The theme of the festival was "Youth for Clean, Green and

Progressive India". Around 5000 Youth delegates from all over the country participated in the festival.

- 4thNorth East Youth Festival in Majuli.

- Proposal for setting up of National Sports University at Manipur.

- Decision taken to set up an Indian Institute of Sports Science & Research.

- Digitalization of SAI has been initiated

- A new Scheme National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) has been formulated for identification of talent in the field of sports among students in the age

group of 8----–12 years and also nurturing of sports potential/Talent in District level Sports school/Centre Sports school/National Sports Academies.

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.

Positions held during his political career:

- 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

- Member of Assam Legislative Assembly from Majuli 2016

- 14th Chief Minister of Assam 2016----–Present

Role in Scrapping the IMDT ACT

Facing 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 judgment 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.

Social and Cultural activities

- President - All Assam Students Union, 1992---–1999

- Chairman - North East Students Organization, 1996---–2000

An ardent sportsman, the Chief Minister, Mr Sonowal is a keen follower of football, cricket and badminton.