Assam BJP leader Sarbananda Sonowal likely to assume cabinet berth in Modi 3.0 | Latest News India

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By Mahtab Ahmad

Guwahati: Union minister and former Assam chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, won the Dibrugarh seat for the second time, beating Lurinjyoti Gogoi of the Assam Jatiya Parishad (APJ), INDIA bloc, by a margin of 2,79,321 votes. 

Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal (File photo)
Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal (File photo)

Sonowal, who was minister for ports, shipping, and waterways as well as the ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, sowa-rigpa and homoeopathy (AYUSH) in the previous ministry, is said to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

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The 61-year-old’s clean image, oratorial skills and popularity among the masses in Assam ensured that he got another stint at the Centre for the third time. 

Sonowal was the minister of state (independent charge) of youth affairs and sports in the first Modi government from 2014 to 2016, when he resigned to head the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition in Assam. 

After completion of his tenure as Assam CM in 2021, Sonowal, who got elected from the Majuli assembly seat and was sidelined in favour of Himanta Biswa Sarma to head the second BJP government in the state in May 2021. A few months later, he was elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam and again inducted to Modi’s cabinet. 

Sonowal is fondly known as ‘jatiya nayak’ (hero of the community) in Assam for his role in scrapping the controversial Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act in 2005 by the Supreme Court. Sonowal was a Lok Sabha MP from Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) at that time. 

A graduate in arts, law and communication, and journalism from Dibrugarh University and Gauhati University, Sonowal headed the influential All Assam Students Union (AASU) from 1992 to 1999 and was the chairman of the North East Students Union (NESO) for ten years from 1994 to 2004 before plunging into active politics by joining the AGP. 

He became a member of the state assembly for the first time in 2001. Sonowal joined the BJP in 2011 and quickly rose through the ranks to be appointed as state president of the party the next year. He was reappointed for the same post in 2015 and led the party to its first stint in power in Assam in 2016. 

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