Know Your Chief Minister


Early Life

Sarbananda Sonowal was born on October 31st, 1962 at Mulukgaon in Dibrugarh district to Jibeswar Sonowal and Dineswari Sonowal. He hails from an agrarian family and is a devout follower of Vaishnavism. An ardent sportsman, Sarbananda Sonowal is a keen enthusiast of football, cricket and badminton.

Shri Sonowal completed his primary education from his village, schooling from Don Bosco and moved to Dibrugarh town for higher studies where he completed his Bachelor's Degree with English Honours from Hanumanbaksh Kanoi College under Dibrugarh University. He completed his L.L.B from Gauhati University. His political career started from Gauhati University.


Political Career

Sarbananda Sonowal started his career as a student leader. He was the president of Dibrugarh District Students Union. Then he became the President of All Assam Students Union, the largest students' body of entire North-East in the year 1992 and continued in that post till 1999. He was also the President of North East Students Organization (NESO) from 1996 to 2000.

Shri Sonowal took the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration to the Supreme Court. By its judgment dated 12th 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."

Shri Sonowal started his active political career as a member of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a regional political party. In 2001, he was elected as MLA from Moran Assembly Constituency. In the 2004 General election, Shri Sonowal contested from prestigious Dibrugarh Constituency and became a Member of Parliament (MP), Lok Sabha. In 2005 he was appointed as a Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs and in 2006 as Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and continued as a Member of Parliament till 2009 before joining Bharatiya Janata Party in 2011. In the same year he was appointed as

National Executive Member of Bharatiya Janata Party and also as State Spokesperson and General Secretary for Assam Bharatiya Janata Party.

Sarbananda Sonowal was appointed as the President of State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party in 2012. In 2014 he was appointed to head the 16th Lok Sabha Elections in Assam. He 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 also elected from Lakhimpur Constituency as Member of Parliament (MP) Lok Sabha and he was appointed 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 many significant sports events to Assam and North Eastern Region. This includes, the 12th South Asian Games held simultaneously in Assam and Meghalaya. It was the first ever International event held in this part of the 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. Similarly, 4th North East Youth Festival was held in Majuli. Besides, a proposal for setting up of National Sports University at Manipur was also mooted during his tenure and decision was taken to set up an Indian Institute of Sports Science & Research. Digitalization of SAI had also been initiated under his leadership and a new Scheme called "National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS)" was formulated for identification of talent in the field of sports among students in the age group of 8 to 12 years and also nurturing of sports talent at the district level Sports school/Centre Sports school/National Sports Academies.

Sarbananda Sonowal was declared as BJP Chief Ministerial candidate for 2016 Assam Assembly election. He led the BJP and its alliance to a landslide victory in the 2016 Assam Assembly election winning 86 of the 126 seats. Shri Sonowal won the Assembly election from Majuli Constituency. He was sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Assam in the first ever government of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state in the presence of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India and a host of other dignitaries on 24th May 2016 at Guwahati.


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.