Former Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal Gets Ministry of Shipping, Ports and Waterways and Ayush

Published: July 8,2021 10:24 AM

Story highlights

Sonowal, a law graduate, is considered to be a rarity - an honest politician who also worked to unite different communities with his oft-repeated lines 'Barak-Brahmaputra-plains-hills'.

July 8, 2021: Sarbananda Sonowal, the former Chief Minister of Assam who handled the Sports and Youth Affairs ministry in the PM Modi's first government, has been given charge of the Ports, Shipping and Waterways portfolio. Sonowal will also handle the Ayush ministry. Mansukh Mandaviya was in charge of the Shipping Ministry prior to Sonowal.

A number of key portfolios including health, law, Information and Technology, Railways and Shipping have gone to new ministers and junior ministers who got a promotion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers that underwent a reboot on Wednesday, July 7.

Apart from Sonowal, Ministers from Northeast has been given key porfolios. Kiren Rijiju has been elevated as the new Union Law and Justice Minister, Rameswar Teli, MoS Petroleum and Natural Gas and Labour and Employment, RK Ranjan, Minister of State (MoS) for Ministry of External Affairs and Education, Pratima Bhowmick, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment.

Sonowal's foray into politics began with his joining the AASU where he served as president from 1992 to 1999.

He then left the body to begin his political career by joining the Asom Gana Parishad, getting elected MLA from Moran in 2001.

Three years later, in 2004, he entered the Lok Sabha from Dibrugarh.

In 2011, he joined the BJP saying later that he made the shift as he felt that Assam's core problems like the illegal immigrant issue could be solved only by intervention at a national level.

In 2014, he returned to the lower house, contesting from Lakhimpur and became the Union Sports Minister during Prime Minister Modi's first term.

Born on October 31, 1962 in Mulukgaon in Dibrugarh district as the youngest of Jibeswar Sonowal and Dineswari Sonowal's eight offsprings, Sonowal is a bachelor and a devout follower of Assam's renowned Vaishnav saints Sankardeva and Madhavdeva.