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Tarun Gogoi, the leader of the Indian National Congress guided his party and Assam to three consecutive electoral victories in the state. There was nothing that could stop the former Assam Chief Minister until he was infected by the fateful coronavirus, which had outraged the world this year.

The Grand old Man, the Former Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi had passed away at the Guwahati Medical College on 23 November due to his long prolonged illness post covid complications and multiple organ failure.

Though he left his immortal body, but he has left his political footprint in the history of Northeast Assam. Born to Dr Kamaleshwar Gogoi, a physician at Rangajan Tea Estate and Usha Gogoi in Jorhat district, the former Chief Minister, who was a lawyer by training, launched himself into the far more appealing field of politics. Gogoi made a modest beginning to his political career in 1967, when he became the joint secretary of the India National Congress and a year later he became a member of the Jorhat Municipal Board. It was a moment that marked him a debut of a political career which he never thought would last for over half a century — 52 years to be exact.

When Sanjay Gandhi’s death and Rajiv Gandhi’s elevation saw many from 1976-era youth Congress leaders falling the wayside, Tarun Gogoi caught Rajiv’s eye, putting him in the league of Ahmed Patel, Digvijaya Singh, Tariq Anwar etc.  Apart from the emergence of Sanjay+Youth Congress power, Tarun Gogoi was witness to the ‘Seven Sisters’ being given shape.

Shri Tarun Gogoi was elected as the Joint Secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1976. He won in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha elections in 1977 and 1980 respectively. During Rajiv Gandhi’s term as the Prime Minister of India from 1985 to 1990, Tarun Gogoi was promoted to the post of General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee. At the same time, he also served as the President of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Assam.

 He reigned in as the Assam Chief Minister, when the state’s economy was in crisis under the AGP government. It was the time when development got nil, militancy rose rapidly and a general feeling of hopelessness gripped the entire state. It was certain that AGP would lose its way out and Congress would regain the power. Gogoi emerged as the new face catapulted from New Delhi to the surprise of many in the state but still a harbinger of hope as the Mahanta regime gave nothing to the state but a gloomy ordeal. People wanted a change and Gogoi offered just that. On 18 May, 2001, Gogoi began his first innings as the Chief Minister of Assam and actually continued it for three terms until 24 May, 2016. 

Soon after taking over as the Chief Minister, Gogoi brought back economic stability to the state and revived the Assam State Transport Corporation from its death knell. Salaries became regular for government employees and Gogoi focussed on improving public-government ties by introducing innovative steps like the Raijor Padulit Raijor Sarkar (People's Government at People's Doorsteps). He strived to take democracy to the grassroots and held the Panchayat elections in 2001 which were due for quite a long time. Needless to say, the Congress triumphed in these polls.

Many venture schools and colleges started receiving government aid under his government. A long-standing demand of pension for college teachers was also approved by his government. During his 15-year tenure as Chief Minister, the medical education in the state received an enormous fillip with medical colleges being opened in different parts of the state. 

The state emerged from the depressing days of the Mahanta regime which was showcased in front of the nation when Assam successfully hosted the 33rd National Games of India in 2007 in the brand new and state-of-the-art Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati. The Barsapara Cricket Stadium which was established in 2012 is another living example of Gogoi government's contribution to the state's sports infrastructure. Updating of the National Register of Citizens for Assam began during his tenure as the Chief Minister.

Return of Peace...

To read the further articles please get your copy of Eastern Panorama December issue @http://www.magzter.com/IN/Hill-Publications/Eastern-Panorama/News/ or mail to contact @easternpanorama.in