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From student leader to Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal's long journey

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New Delhi, July 07: The BJP's Sarbananda Sonowal who got a plush cabinet ministry position was inducted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet.

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From student leader to Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowals long journey

From a student leader to Union Cabinet Minister, Sonowal has traveled a long way. Fondly known as "Jatiya Nayak" for his fight against illegal migrants, Sonowal is a big plus for his party in terms of his image. Starting from the chief minister to his junior most in the government signifies the fact that Sonowal is still the Achilles heel for the present government and is rooted in the political logjam which BJP faces in Assam.

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Sonowal started his political career in the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and served as its president from 1992-1999. Later, he joined the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and was elected to the Assam Assembly from Moran in 2001.

Sonowal was sworn-in as the 14th Chief Minister of Assam in May 2016. The Sonowal-led BJP had created quite a flutter in 2016 by managing to topple the Congress, which had ruled the northeastern state for the past 15 years.

Born on 31 October, 1962, in Molokgaon in Dibrugarh district to Jibeswar Sonowal and Dineswari Sonowal, he is a bachelor and a devout follower of Assam's renowned Vaishnav saints Sankardeva and Madhavdeva.

An ardent sportsman, Sonowal is a keen follower of football, cricket and badminton.

Sonowal brought the party which had just six seats in the 2011 Assembly into power in 2016. His announcement as the party's face in Assam came as no surprise due to his clean image and the fact that he enjoyed the confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Political career

Credited with challenging the controversial Illegal Migrants' Determination by Tribunal (IMDT) Act in the Supreme Court which finally scrapped it, Sonowal's foray into politics began with his joining the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) where he served as its president from 1992 to 1999.

A major figure in the students' politics of the region, Sonowal, a law graduate, also became the chairman of the North East Students' Organisation (NESO) from 1996 to 2000.

In 2004, he went on to successfully contest the Lok Sabha polls wresting the seat for the first time from the Congress by defeating former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar.

He, however, lost the 2009 parliamentary polls to Ghatowar from the same constituency which was once considered a Congress bastion.

Sonowal, who belongs to the Sonowal-Kachari tribe, contested the 2016 Assembly polls from Majuli, the world's largest river island and the seat of Vaishnavite culture.

As per the affidavit, Sonowal declared that his movable assets are worth Rs 1,14,76,394 and immovable assets worth Rs 2,02,95,000. In 2016, Sonowal declared that he had movable assets worth Rs 70,44,918.

Sarbananda Sonowal added that he has total assets worth Rs 3,17,71,394.

Sonowal also has agricultural property in Dibrugarh, the current market value of which is Rs 36.2 lakh, non-agricultural land in Jyotikuchi area of Guwahati and Dibrugarh worth Rs 64.75 lakh and residential buildings in Guwahati and Dibrugarh whose current value is Rs 1.02 crore.

Sarbananda Sonowal
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