For the upcoming Assembly Elections in Assam, the BJP has fielded Sarbananda Sonowal as its chief ministerial candidate. Sonowal is currently the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Youth Affairs and Sports.
Considered to be one the most popular leaders in Assam, Sonowal began his career public life since his days as a student leader.
Elected to Lok Sabha after defeating Union Minister Ranee Narah in Lakhimpur constituency, Sonowal is credited with leading the BJP in the state as president, which helped it bag 7 seats out of 14 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Sonowal is known for his stance on illegal migrants from Bangladesh and soon after taking oath he had said that his priority is Assam's all round development besides zero tolerance for the illegal migrants and complete seal of Indo-Bangla border.
Let's take a look at the brief profile of Sarbananda Sonowal:
Date and place of birth: Sarbananda Sonowal was born on 31 October 1962 in Dinjan, Dibrugarh, Assam.
Family history: Sarbananda Sonowal was born to Shri Jibeswar Sonowal and Smt. Dineswari Sonowal in Dinjan. The Minister is an LL.B., B.C.J. educated at Dibrugarh University and at Gauhati University.
Political Career: Sarbananda Sonowal is a Member of Parliament of the 16th Lok Sabha from the BJP and has previously served as the president for BJP Assam Pradesh. He is also a National Executive Member of the party.
Sonowal was the president of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) from 1992 to 1999. He was given the title of Jatiya Nayak by the AASU, for his firebrand politics and dynamism.
Till 2011 January, Sonowal was a member of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). He then joined BJP and was made the National Executive Member.
Later on he was made the State Spokesperson of the BJP unit prior to his assignment to head the state as the new president in 2012.
Performance as MoS Sports and Youth Affairs:
With the Rio Olympics to be held in Brazil next year, India's sports ministry has decided to come up with a variety of incentives for athletes, coaches and National Sports Federations.
Sonowal announced that the amount for senior, junior and sub-junior competitions has been increased to Rs 5 lakh, Rs 7 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.
Air travel for senior players and coaches for a distance beyond 500 km, and for a distance beyond 1, 200 km in economy class for the junior players have been allowed, to promote sports and welfare of sports persons.
To boost sporting activities in the state, the Sports Ministry has formally sanctioned a central assistance of Rs 200 crore to Jammu and Kashmir. Sonowal had stated that Jammu and Kashmir has a lot of sporting talent which is not finding expression due to inadequate sports facilities- which he is keen on changing with the Centre's assistance.
Sonowal is also working hard to make FIFA under -17 World Cup successful, which will be held in India for the very first time.The event will be held in September October, 2017.
The Minister has also been active in addressing the spot-fixing issue in the IPL, and has said that such scandals has prompted government to push for introduction of Sports Fraud Bill in the Parliament.