New Bihar Guv former MoS for External Affairs

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New Delhi, Jun 26 (UNI) Raghunanthanlal Bhatia, who was today appointed the Governor of Bihar, is a former Minister of State for External Affairs.

The former governor of Kerala since 23 June 2004, R L Bhatia took over the Governorship of the state of Bihar, from Mr R S Gavai.

Born on July 3, 1921 to Lal Devi and Arooramal Bhatia in Amritsar, Punjab, Mr Bhatia, who was the President of Students Union, completed his graduation from the Punjab University and LLB from the University at Lahore.

A member of the local body of Amritsar for nine years, Mr Bhatia was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Amritsar Parliamentary Constituency in 1972, 1980, 1985, 1992, 1996 and 1999, as a member of the Indian National Congress.

The former Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India, July 1992 to 1993, served as the Chairman of the Committee of petitions in Lok Sabha in 1983.

Mr Bhatia was not only as a member of the select committee, constituted in 1992, for the amendment of the Constitution, but had been a member of several consultative Parliamentary committees such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, Education, Railways, Information and Broadcasting, Law and Justice and Company Affairs.

During his stint as a Member of Parliament, Mr Bhatia represented India as a delegate to the UN, besides participating in the Seventh NAM summit held in Delhi in March 1983, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in New Delhi in November 1983, Sixth SAARC summit in Colombo in 1991 and the Fifth meeting of coordinating countries of the action programme for economic cooperation of non aligned countries held in Delhi in 1986.

He was a member of the executive committee of Congress Parliamentary Party from 1975 to 1977, before his tenure as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee 1982-84 and General Secretary of the AICC, 1991.

A much-travelled man, who had visited China, Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, USA, Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Japan and the UK, either as leader or member of delegation of the AICC, Mr Bhatia became the Vice President of Friends of Soviet Union 1983-84.

His career also includes his term of office as a member of the India Council for Cultural Relations from 1983 to 84, Chairman of the India Bulgaria Friendship Society 1983-90, India GDR friendship Association 1983-90, Co-chairman of All India Peace&Solidarity organisation, 1981-83 and the Vice President of Friends of Soviet Union from 1983 to 1984.

Married to Sarala, Mr Bhatia has a son, Ramesh, and daughter, Saroj Munjal and loves reading and gardening in his leisure time.

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