Assam | Top former bureaucrat Bhanu joins Congress in state


GUWAHATI | February 12, 2019:

Former additional chief secretary of Assam M.G.V.K. Bhanu, who retired last July, joined the Congress, here on Monday.

"If one talks of development in Assam, Congress is the only party. There is no alternative to Congress. I have a small house in Tezpur, because I love the city. Given an opportunity, I want to serve its people," said Bhanu, adding he would try for ticket from Tezpur, but the decision rests with the party.

An 1985 batch IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre, Bhanu was known as the right-hand man of former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and looked after several important departments between 2001 and 2006. He also worked with former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy.

The Congress may field Bhanu from the Tezpur constituency, where he is quite popular for the welfare activities he initiated during his tenure.

As the Tea Board of India chairman between 2011 and 2013, the veteran IAS officer is known to have introduced several welfare schemes for small tea growers, who comprise a sizeable population of Tezpur.

In the run-up to elections, the Congress has started accepting applications from ticket seekers. To take on the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the party, which is in the opposition in Assam, has revived the North East Congress Coordination Committee (NECCC).