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Tarun Gogoi, Assam's longest serving chief minister, passes away

While Gogoi’s entry in national politics was because of Indira Gandhi, he was a five term PM from Jorhat and Kaliabar (PTI)Premium
While Gogoi’s entry in national politics was because of Indira Gandhi, he was a five term PM from Jorhat and Kaliabar (PTI)

  • In his five-decade long career in politics, Gogoi had also worked closely with PV Narasimha Rao
  • Gogoi was admitted to the hospital on 2nd November following post recovery complications from covid-19 but was put under invasive ventilation over the weekend as his condition had worsened

Tarun Gogoi, the longest serving chief minister of Assam passed away on Monday due to prolonged illness. With the demise of Gogoi, Congress has lost a statesman of national stature who had worked with at least four Prime Ministers of Congress led government and at least two being a member of the Gandhi family.

Gogoi first entered Parliament at the age of 35 in 1971 under the leadership of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Even before becoming a Member of Parliament (MP) from Jorhat, Gogoi was elected in the Municipal Board of Jorhat in 1968.

While Gogoi’s entry in national politics was because of Indira Gandhi, he was a five term MP from Jorhat and Kaliabor, a seat which is now represented by his son Gaurav Gogoi, before becoming chief minister for consecutive 15 years or 3 terms.

Within five years of becoming a MP, Gogoi was handpicked by Indira Gandhi as a joint secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1976 and later in 1985 he became general secretary of the party under then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

When Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power in May 2004, Gogoi was already a chief minister in his first term and was responsible to ensure then prime minister Manmohan Singh was elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam.

In his five-decade long career in politics, Gogoi had also worked closely with PV Narasimha Rao as union minister of state in the ministry of Food and Food Processing Industry where he served from 1991-1996.

The information about Gogoi’s death on Monday was shared by Assam’s health minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Himanta Biswa Sarma. Gogoi was admitted to the hospital on 2nd November following post recovery complications from covid-19 but was put under invasive ventilation over the weekend as his condition had worsened. His health had remained worrisome as he underwent hospitalization for nearly two months after testing positive for covid-19 in October.

A six-time Lok Sabha MP, Gogoi first became a member in 1971 and saw the Congress at its peak. Born on 1 April, 1936 in Jorhat of Assam, Gogoi served in some of the key positions in the party at both centre and state.

“Shri Tarun Gogoi was a true Congress leader. He devoted his life to bringing all the people and communities of Assam together. For me, he was a great and wise teacher. I loved and respected him deeply. I will miss him. My love and condolences to Gaurav and the family," Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Monday evening soon after the news of Gogoi’s death came. Gogoi’s son, Gaurav Gogoi, is a young Congress leader and the deputy leader of the party in Lok Sabha.

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