Devanand Kanwar Biography

Devanand Konwar, a former English lecturer, political activist, advocate and Congress politician, became the governor of>Bihar in June 2009. The Assamese politician from Sibasagar district has been a member of the Indian National Congress party since his student days and has served as a Cabinet Minister in the Government of Assam twice; first under Hiteshwar Saikia in 1991 and then under Tarun Gogoi in 2001. He has also served as advocate in the Guwahati High Court.

Devanand Konwar has a BA (English Honors) from Cotton College Guwahati. He has a Masters in English from Delhi University and an additional LLB from Guwahati University. He is married to Smt Niva Konwar who is a member of the National Commission for Women.

Mr Konwar was a Lecturer in Cotton College Guwahati before joining the American Standard Vacuum Oil Company as a marketing manager in 1971. He worked with the oil company for seven years coordinating petroleum products distribution networks in north and east India.

He found time to establish a Degree college in Guwahati and was its founder Principal in 1969. The same year he joined the Guwahati High court Bar and was a practicing Advocate till 1991, serving as a Government Advocate for the states of Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. He has practiced in the Guwahati High Court as well as the Supreme Court of India.

Association with Congress
His association with Congress party goes back to 1955 when he joined as a student leader. He was aligned with Congress (Indira) in the seventies when the Congress party split into two. In time, he was made the Secretary and Vice President of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee. In the 1978 elections in the Assam, instead of contesting as a candidate, he coordinated the election campaign and ran the Assam State Congress election office.

In 1983, the party again entrusted him the responsibility for holding the general elections in Assam. The state at that time was in a political turmoil with calls for boycott of the elections and violent opposition to all government machinery. This time, Mr Konwar fought the elections as a Congress candidate and was elected to the state Legislative Assembly from Sibasagar. He went on to contest the Lok Sabha elections and won from Thowra constituency. Mr Hiteshwar Saikia, the Chief Minister of Assam, inducted him into his cabinet and Mr Konwar was given the portfolio of Revenue, Power, Law, and Municipal Administration.

In 1996 he was reelected to the Lok Sabha from Thowra. Again in 2001, on his reelection from the same constituency, he was made a minister in the cabinet of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Mr Konwar was given the portfolio of Finance, Revenue and Power. In 2003 additional portfolios of Law and legislative Affairs were given to him.

From 2005 to 2009, he was given increased responsibility within the All India Congress Committee. In 2004 he was the AICC Observer in the Assembly elections in the northeastern states of Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram and in 2005 for Orissa.

In 2009 elections he was the AICC Observer for Arunachal Pradesh. Congress regained the Lok Sabha seats from the BJP in those elections.

The center government appointed him as the Governor of Bihar on June 29, 2009. He became the thirty third Governor of the state. Additionally, he was the Governor of West Bengal in early 2009 and remained so till 2010.