Guwahati, November 23: Veteran Congress leader and a three-term former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi died here on Monday while undergoing treatment for post-COVID-19 complications, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
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, Sarma said.
The doctors conducted an ECG and found that his heart has stopped, following which the GMCH superintendent confirmed that he is no more, he said.
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.
“Extremely sad to know of the demise of Shri Tarun Gogoi, former Chief Minister of Assam. The country has lost a veteran leader with rich political and administrative experience. His long tenure in office was a period of epochal change in Assam,” Kovind tweeted.
He will always be remembered for the development of Assam and especially towards his efforts to improve law and order and fighting insurgency in the state, he said in another tweet.
“His passing away marks the end of an era. In this hour of grief, condolences to his family, friends and supporters,” the president said.
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.
Modi tweeted, “Sri Tarun Gogoi Ji was a popular leader and a veteran administrator, who had years of political experience in Assam as well as the Centre. Anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.”
The veteran Congress leader was first admitted to the hospital on August 26 after testing positive for COVID-19 and was discharged for a brief period before being admitted again on November 2.
His condition deteriorated on November 21, following multi-organ failure and was put on invasive ventilation.
Gogoi was given dialysis on Sunday. His condition deteriorated further over the past few hours and the hospital where he was admitted said he was “very, very critical”.
Gogoi was the MLA from the Titabor assembly constituency since 2001. He was also a six-time parliamentarian and became 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, said Sarma, a former cabinet colleague of Gogoi.
Assam announces 3-day state mourning
The Assam government on Monday announced a three-day state mourning in the honour of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi who died while undergoing treatment for post-COVID-19 complications.
The ruling BJP and opposition Congress also cancelled all party functions, including the ongoing campaign for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections, for the next three days as a mark of respect for the three-time chief minister.
“Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced that the State government would observe three-day State mourning in honour of the former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who breathed his last this evening,” an official statement said.
Sonowal also paid his last respect to the mortal remains of the veteran Congress leader at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.
Issuing a circular, state BJP’s general secretary Topon Kumar Gogoi instructed all district and local units to cancel all types of functions till November 26 in remembrance of the former chief minister.
State Congress president Ripun Bora told reporters that the party flag will fly at half-mast for the next three days and all scheduled programmes have been cancelled.
Assam lost efficient political leader: Sonowal mourns Gogoi’s death
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal deeply mourned the death of former CM Tarun Gogoi who breathed his last on Monday.
In a statement, he 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.
Gogoi, a veteran Congress leader, died at the age of 84 at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital while undergoing treatment for post-COVID-19 complications.
He was a three-time chief minister of the state, a six-time parliamentarian and Union minister twice.
Tarun Gogoi was one of my dearest friends from Assam: Manmohan Singh
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday described ex-chief minister Tarun Gogoi as one of his dearest friends from Assam and said the country has lost a very good leader who always worked for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden.
In his condolence message to the former chief minister’s wife Dolly Gogoi, Singh said he was the most popular leader from Assam who had a pleasant nature.
“I was deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely passing away of your beloved husband Shri Tarun Gogoi ji. He was one of my dearest friends from the state of Assam.
Shri Tarun Gogoi ji was the most popular leader from Assam who served six terms as a member of Parliament and has led the party to a record three consecutive electoral victories in the state of Assam as chief minister, Singh said in his letter.
“With his hard work, pleasant nature and popularity, he became one of the tallest leaders of the state, who led the Congress party in Assam for a long time. In his death our country, especially the state of Assam, has lost a very good leader who always worked for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden people of the society,” the former prime minister said.
Rio, Patton condole
Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio expressed grief at the demise of former Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi.
“I am sad to learn about the demise of former Chief Minister of Assam and senior Congress leader @tarun_gogoi,” Rio tweeted.
Rio stated that the country has lost a veteran leader with vast political experience. He also expressed deepest condolences to his family and loved ones and prayed that the departed soul rest in peace.
Dy.CM: Deputy Chief Minister and BLP leader, Y Patton has expressed grief at the demise of Assam’s former Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi who passed away today at GMC Guwahati.
The Deputy CM said that Gogoi was a tall political leader from Northeast region who was respected for his integrity and wisdom.
Gogoi took over the helm of affairs when Assam was at the peak of insurgency turmoil, and brought it to path of visible peace and development through a matured diplomatic approach, Patton said.
Stating that in his death the nation has lost a seasoned political leader whose service will be missed, the Deputy Chief Minister, on behalf of the BJP legislators of Nagaland, sent deepest condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace. (PTI/Page News Service)