Guwahati, November 23
Tarun Gogoi, the octogenarian three-time Chief Minister of Assam, who breathed his last on Monday evening, was one of northeast India's tallest statesmen who changed the face of Assam from a terrorism-ravaged state to a land with opportunities for trade, business and economy during his 15-year reign.
Was admitted to hospital on Aug 26 after testing Covid+ve
A six-time MP from Assam between 1971 and 2001, Gogoi (86) was away from Assam politics for long until in 2001 Assembly polls when he was asked to lead the party against the influential Asom Gana Parishad government led by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.
When other leaders were hesitant, Gogoi led the Congress to victory and became the Chief Minister for the first time in 2001, leading the state at a very difficult time with terrorism at its peak and brutal killings dominating the headlines.
The longest-serving Chief Minister of Assam, Gogoi took the helm of affairs of the state in 2001 when the state was also facing a serious financial crisis even as the state government did not have the required money to pay salaries of government employees on time. Between 2001 and 2016, the 15 years he was in power, Gogoi scripted history by taming the decades' old insurgency as terror outfits and militants came forward to talk with the government. Under his leadership, the economic growth accompanied by peace boosted Assam to accelerate its all-round development during the subsequent years.
He dealt with the occasional flare-up like the 2012 Kokrajhar and other ethnic violence in the state with an iron hand.
Born to Dr Kamaleshwar Gogoi and Usha Gogoi, Tarun Gogoi spent his childhood in a tea garden in Jorhat district where his father was a physician. — IANS