GUWAHATI, April 25 - Veteran leader and former Governor of Bihar, Tripura and West Bengal Devanand Konwar passed away here early this morning. Konwar breathed his last at his residence at Rukminigaon here. Sources in the Congress party, with which Konwar was associated for most of his political career, said that Konwar was unwell since some time.
His mortal remains were later taken to his native place Nitaipukhuri in Sivasagar district for the last rites, which will be performed tomorrow morning with State honours.
Konwar leaves behind his wife, a son, two daughters and a host of other relatives.
Konwar joined the Congress in 1955 as a student leader. He was first elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly in 1983 from the Sibsagar constituency. Afterwards, he was elected for three consecutive terms in 1991, 1996 and 2001, to the Assembly from the Thowra constituency.
He served as a minister in the Hiteswar Saikia-led State government in 1991. He also served in the Cabinet of the then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in 2001. Konwar handled various portfolios during his two tenures as minister, including Finance, Revenue and Law.
In June 2009, Konwar was appointed Governor of Bihar where he served till March 2013. He then served as Tripura Governor from March 2013 to June 2014. In between, he also had held the additional charge as West Bengal Governor from December 2009 to January 2010.
Konwar was born in 1936 at the Rajah Ali tea estate in Tinsukia to Padma Kanta Konwar and Kusum Kumari Konwar. He completed his primary education at Nitaipukhuri and did his BA from Cotton College and MA in English from Delhi University, besides LLB from Gauhati University.
Konwar started his career as Lecturer in English department of Cotton College, before joining the American Standard Vacuum Oil Company in Mumbai. He was also the founder principal of Guwahati College, said sources in the Congress party.
Later he joined the Gauhati High Court Bar and practiced as an advocate for many years. He also served in various organizational positions in the Congress party before becoming a Minister in 1991.
In 2015, Konwar switched to AIUDF from Congress. He was appointed vice president of AIUDF. However, he later left the AIUDF.
Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, State Congress president Ripun Bora, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, BJP State president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal, among others, condoled the demise of Konwar.