Shillong: A man who likes reading, playing chess and fishing, Donkupar Roy, Meghalaya''s new chief minister, has avoided controversy in two decades of his political life.
Roy, 54, who has always maintained a low profile and avoided media glare, is a doctorate in economics from the Shillong-based North Eastern Hill University and worked as a professor for some time before entering politics.
Elected as a legislator for the fifth consecutive time, Roy, the president of the United Democratic Party (UDP), first won the Shella assembly seat bordering Bangladesh as an independent candidate in 1987.
Born on November 10, 1954, Roy''s first bid to enter the Meghalaya Assembly was backed by the then Alliance for Reconstruction of Meghalaya, which comprised small parties. Roy was re-elected in 1993, and then joined the United Democratic Party just before the 1998 state assembly elections.
He retained the Shella seat for three consecutive terms on UDP ticket.
He has held several important portfolios in the D.D. Lapang ministry, including that of Health, Education, Finance and Planning Implementation, before being elevated to the rank of deputy chief minister.
Roy was chosen as the chief ministerial candidate despite the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance having three former chief ministers E.K. Mawlong (UDP), P.A. Sangma (NCP) and J.D. Rymbai (Congressman UDP leader) in its fold. Sangma will replace him after two-and-a-half years.