Profile: Union cabinet minister Paban Singh Ghatowar

It was a long journey for Paban Singh Ghatowar from his humble beginning as a leader of the tea tribe community in Assam to becoming a minister of state with independent charge in the Union cabinet.

The five-time Dibrugarh MP first entered the Lok Sabha in 1991 after a long innings in the Indian National Trade Union Congress, Assam, where he was general secretary, working for the welfare of several lakh tea garden labourers engaged in over 1,000 tea estates.

Reacting to his appointment as minister of state (independent charge) in the ministry of development of North Eastern region (DoNER), Ghatowar told PTI that he would try his best to work for the welfare of the eight Northeastern states.

"I will try to bring development to every nook and corner of the North East. All existing projects will be expedited on a priority basis with the active cooperation of the state governments," he said.

Ghatowar, 61, first became a deputy minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government and was later made a minister of state for health and family welfare.

The former Assam Pradesh Congress Committee chief has been elected to the Lok Sabha continuously since 1991 barring once and after his election in 2009, he was made the chief whip, Congress Parliamentary Party, Lok Sabha.

Ghatowar's wife Jibontara is an MLA in Assam.