Sonowal journey to chief minister's chair

Sonowal journey to chief minister's chair

It is celebration time for the BJP in Assam with the party securing its maiden victory in the state. And the man at the centre of it all is Sarbananda Sonowal, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate. From student politics to joining the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Sonowal has come a long way.

Born in Bindhakata Muluck Gaon in Chabua of Dibrugarh district, Sonowal (53) started his political career in the All Assam Students Union (AASU). While studying at Dibrugarh University, he was elected president of AASU. In 1989, Sonowal was elected vice-president of AASU and in 1993, he was made president - a post he held for six years. He was also president of the North East Students Organisation (NESO) and headed it between 1996 and 2000. Predictably, he went on to become the face of AGP.

In the 2001 Assembly elections, AGP was thrown out of power by the Congress. But Sonowal made his debut and went on to win the Moran seat. In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, bucking the trend, he won from Dibrugarh constituency. The biggest turning point in his career was when as an MP he filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Illegal Migrants' Determination by Tribunal (IMDT) Act, 1983. The court ruled in his favour and scrapped the act.

Sonowal became a hero overnight and was even titled ‘Jatiya Nayak’ (national hero). However, he lost the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

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