In the series of unfortunate deaths this year, the nation saw another eminent person recently succumb to illness after a long fight for survival. Congress’ political stalwart and former Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi, passed away on November 23 after losing a three-month-long battle against the coronavirus.
Gogoi died after suffering complications from COVID-19. He had been readmitted to the Gauhati Medical College on November 2 after he complained of breathlessness. Gogoi’s death came a day after he had multiple organ failure and was put on dialysis.
Assam’s present chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had cancelled all his plans to be at Gogoi’s side during the final hours of his life.
Gogoi was born in 1934 in the Jorhat district of Assam. His grandmother had predicted during his birth that he would become a famous person. After growing up, the late Congress leader proved her right as he became the chief minister of Assam in 2001.
The then Congress boss and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi herself chose him to lead the Youth Congress in 1971, the same year that he served his first stint as a Member of Parliament from the Jorhat parliamentary constituency. After being elected the Joint Secretary for All India Congress Committee in 1976, Gogoi became a nationally acclaimed leader of the Congress Party.
He was elected the President of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee in 1986 and served the post till 1990. Gogoi was someone who served as a Union minister, an MLA, a Member of Parliament as well as the Chief Minister for Assam. The political stalwart served as a Minister of State for the PV Narsimha Rao cabinet, handling the Ministry of Food and Food Processing Industry.
Gogoi served as Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly for four terms and remained chief minister of his state from 2011 to 2015, with successive electoral victories in 2006 and 2011, thus becoming the longest serving chief minister of Assam.
Even though the Congress party faced defeat in 2016 state assembly elections, Gogoi remained a strong leader and was elected from his Titabar constituency. During the 15 years that he ruled in Assam, he maintained law and order in the state with an iron fist, taming insurgencies and controlling militants.
Gogoi’s focus was also on development and industrial investments in the state. Under his able leadership, the state of Assam saw a period of economic growth and progress. His demise was mourned by people from all walks of life, especially from the political sphere. Starting from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leaders across party lines paid tributes to the octogenarian leader who had retired from active politics and decided to stay with Congress as an able advisor for the upcoming state elections scheduled to be held next year.