End of an era
GUWAHATI/ ITANAGAR, Nov 23: Veteran Congress leader and former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi died here on Monday while undergoing treatment for post-Covid-19 complications.
He was 84 and is survived by wife Dolly, daughter Chandrima and son Gaurav, a Lok Sabha member.
Gogoi, thrice chief minister of the state from 2001 to 2016, breathed his last at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at 5.34 pm, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
President Ram Nath Kovind said Gogoi’s passing away marked the end of an era and his long tenure in office was a period of epochal change in the state.
Expressing his anguish at the death of Gogoi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a popular leader and veteran administrator who had years of political experience in Assam as well as at the Centre.
In a statement, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the people of Assam will always remember Gogoi’s committed service and contributions to the state.
“I am deeply saddened by the demise of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. With his death, the state has lost an experienced, capable and efficient political leader,” he said.
“His sense of humour, amiable and outspoken nature attracted everyone. He set high ethical values in the field of politics with his simple lifestyle and contributed profusely in strengthening democratic values in the country,” Sonowal added.
In Itanagar, Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed grief over the death of Gogoi.
Expressing condolences to the family, Khandu said he was saddened by the passing away of the veteran Congress leader.
State Legislative Assembly Speaker Pasang D Sona has deeply mourned the demise Gogoi.
The Speaker said Gogoi was a committed leader, who made tremendous contributions towards the development of Assam in particular and the North East in general.
“In his death, the people of the North East, particularly Assam have lost a great leader,” Sona said.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Lombo Tayeng also stated Gogoi’s death as the end of an era.
North East Congress Coordination Committee (NECCC) general secretary Padi Richo described Gogoi as a fatherly figure for the party workers in the region and said that his death is an irreparable loss to the Congress family across the country.
The veteran Congress leader was first admitted to the hospital on 26 August after testing positive for Covid-19 and was discharged for a brief period before being admitted again on 2 November.
His condition deteriorated on 21 November, following multi-organ failure and was put on invasive ventilation.
Gogoi was the MLA from the Titabor assembly constituency since 2001. He was also a six-time parliamentarian and became the Union minister twice.
His body will be taken to his residence in Dispur and from there to the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra where people can pay their homage to the leader on Tuesday. He will be cremated with full state honours, the health minister added. (PTI)