Three-time Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who had been undergoing treatment at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) for post-Covid complications, passed away on Monday, state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma confirmed. The Congress veteran was 84.
Gogoi was diagnosed with Covid in August end and was administered plasma therapy when his condition worsened. After testing negative for Covid, Gogoi was battling post-Covid complications. He was on non-invasive ventilation since November 2, but on Saturday was put under invasive ventilation.
“He left this world at 5.34 pm,” Sarma said outside the GMCH. As far as planned till now, the body would be kept at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakhetra, a cultural institution in Guwahati, on Tuesday for people to get a last glimpse. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal flew back to Guwahati from Dibrugarh after cancelling his scheduled official programs to be with Gogoi’s family. “He has always been a father figure to me. I join millions in praying for his recovery,” Sonowal tweeted. CM Sonowal has announced a three-day state mourning in the honour of Gogoi.
Leaders across the political spectrum, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, condoled the demise of the Congress stalwart. Earlier in the day, PM Modi, former PM Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had called Gogoi’s son and MP Gaurav Gogoi and enquired about the former CM’s health. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too had called Gaurav. Senior Assam ministers and important political leaders visited Gogoi’s family at the hospital throughout the day.
Remembering Tarun Gogoi | See pictures from Express Archive
In the days before he was diagnosed with Covid, Gogoi was at the forefront of the Congress initiative to form a ‘Grand Alliance’, comprising all the opposition parties for the 2021 assembly polls. Gogoi was elected chief minister of Assam in 2001 after he led the Congress to victory in the state elections. He then led the party to a record three consecutive electoral victories in the state.