Dorjee: a grassroot activist who rose to become CM | india | Hindustan Times
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Dorjee: a grassroot activist who rose to become CM

A military intelligence man who participated in the 1971 Bangladesh war, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu had worked his way up as a local politician helping set up schools and organising drinking water supplies in far-flung areas of the mountainous state.

india Updated: May 04, 2011 19:36 IST

A military intelligence man who participated in the 1971 Bangladesh war, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu had worked his way up as a local politician helping set up schools and organising drinking water supplies in far-flung areas of the mountainous state.

56-year-old Khandu, who became the chief minister twice, was with the Indian Army's intelligence wing for seven years and received a gold medal for rendering meritorious services during the Indo-Pak war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Becoming an Anchal Samiti member in 1980, he turned his focus to social work in far-flung villages. He helped arranging drinking water supplies, electricity and communication and also setting up schools in remote areas of Tawang, his home district. Due to his efforts, cultural and cooperative societies were established in Tawang.

This helped him consolidate his standing among the masses when he replaced Gegong Apang as chief minister of the state in 2007.

He led a cultural troupe to 1982 ASIAD in Delhi from Tawang which won a silver medal.

Born on March 3, 1955 in Gyangkhar village in Tawang district, Khandu belonged to Monpa tribe and was a Buddhist with little formal education. He has four wives, four sons and two daughters.

His political innings started in 1983 when he was elected uncontested as the District Vice President of the West Kameng District Zilla Parishad and worked in that capacity till 1987.

In March 1990, he was elected uncontested to the Legislative Assembly from the Mukto constituency.

Khandu was re-elected to the Assembly in March, 1995 from the same constituency and was given the portfolio of minister of state for cooperation.

On September 21, 1996, he was elevated to cabinet rank and given Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Dairy Development department.