Former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday took oath as Union minister for the second time in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Sonowal.

Sonowal took the oath in English.

Before taking over as chief minister, Sonowal served as the Union minister for sports and youth affairs from 2014-2016 in the first term of the Modi government.

BJP leader Sonowal also served as the president of BJP in Assam.

Born on October 31, 1962 at Muluk Gaon in Dibrugarh district, Sonowal led the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the largest students’ body in Assam, as the president from 1992-1999.

Sonowal had earned the distinction of ‘Jatiya Nayak’ (national hero) after the Supreme Court passed a historic judgment striking down the controversial Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act 1983, popularly known as IMDT Act, on the basis of a petition filed by Sonowal.

Sonowal did BA (Honours) in English under Dibrugarh University, and completed his LLB from Gauhati University Law College.

Sonowal later joined the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and in 2001, he was elected to the Assam Assembly as the MLA from Moran constituency.

In 2004, he won the Lok Sabha election from Dibrugarh constituency.

In 2009, he lost the Lok Sabha election from Dibrugarh and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2011.

Sonowal became the Assam BJP president in 2012.

In 2014, he won the Lok Sabha election from the Lakhimpur constituency and was appointed as a minister in the Modi Cabinet.

The BJP won the Assam Assembly election in 2016 under the leadership of Sonowal.

Sonowal, who won the Assembly election 2016 from Majuli, and was sworn in as the first BJP chief minister in Assam after the party’s electoral victory.

After the BJP won the Assembly election for the second time in Assam this year, the party chose former health & finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as the Assam chief minister and Sonowal resigned as the chief minister.

Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a tweet said he feels proud that Sarbananda Sonowal has been included in the Modi Cabinet.   

“I am proud at Sri @sarbanandsonwal getting a berth in the Union Cabinet. I recall with pride my long personal association with Sri Sonowal and great opportunities that we had to work together, for prosperity of Assam. I shall continue to learn, and draw strength from him,” chief minister Sarma tweeted.

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