The BJP’s Sarbananda Sonowal became Chief Minister of Assam after the party swept the north-east state in the assembly election in 2016. Mr Sonowal is contesting from Majuli constituency.
Though the BJP has not named any chief ministerial candidate in Assam, Mr Sonowal, 58, is seen to be eager to steer the state under his command for another term.
Majuli is a reserved constituency, one of the seats where elections will be held in the first phase of assembly polls in Assam on Saturday.
From a student leader to Chief Minister, Mr Sonowal has traveled a long way. Fondly known as “Jatiya Nayak” for his fight against illegal migrants, Mr Sonowal is a big plus for his party in terms of his image.
Mr Sonowal’s main opponent is former Assam Minister Rajib Lochan Pegu of the Congress, who accuses the BJP of appropriating the work done by the previous Congress governments. Mr Pegu, a three-time winner from the high-profile constituency, was defeated by Mr Sonowal in the 2016 polls.
Solving Majuli’s perineal flood and erosion problem tops Mr Sonowal’s agenda – it’s a promise that might help him win a second term, at least as an MLA if not chief minister.
Mr Sonowal is a BA graduate from DHSK College, Dibrugarh University, and holds degrees in Law and communication from Gauhati University.
From 1992 to 1999, he was president of the All Assam Students’ Union. Mr Sonowal was elected from Moran constituency in the 2001 assembly election from the Asom Gana Parishad. He was elected MP from Dibrugarh constituency in 2004.
Mr Sonowal played a key role in leading the repeal of the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) or IMDT Act, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court in July 2005.