Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi died on Monday while undergoing treatment for post-Covid complications, state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. Gogoi was 84 and is survived by wife Dolly, daughter Chandrima and son Gaurav.
The three-time former chief minister, breathed his last at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at 5.34 pm, Sarma said. Doctors conducted an ECG and found that his heart had stopped functioning, following which the GMCH superintendent confirmed that he is no more, Sarma added.
Expressing his grief, PM Modi remembered Gogoi as a popular leader and a veteran administrator. “Shri 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,” Modi tweeted.
Shri 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. pic.twitter.com/H6F6RGYyT4— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 23, 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind also condoled Gogoi’s demise and said his death marks the end of an era. "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.
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.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 23, 2020
Gogoi was first admitted to (GMCH) on August 26 after testing positive for Covid-19 and was released for a brief period before being readmitted on November 2. His condition deteriorated on November 21, following multi-organ failure and he was put on invasive ventilation.
His mortal remains will be cremated on Thursday in Guwahati, state Congress chief Ripun Bora said. Briefing the press, Bora said the body will be taken to Gogoi's official residence at Dispur from GMCH on Tuesday morning. "The doctors will complete necessary medical formalities in the night to prepare the body for keeping it safe for three days," Bora said.
After that, Gogoi's body will be taken to state secretariat and then to state Congress headquarters. "His wife Dolly and son Gaurav requested chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to display his body to the public for one day. As per the family's wish, the government will take the body to the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra complex in Guwahati on Tuesday evening and it will be there for the whole day on November 25," Bora said.
On November 26, Gogoi's final journey will begin from Kalakshetra and his cremation will take place in Guwahati instead of his hometown Titabor, Bora said. "As per his last wish, the body will be taken to a temple, mosque and church before the last rites are conducted," he added.
Meanwhile, the Assam government has announced a three-day state mourning. "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.
As a mark of respect, the BJP and Congress cancelled all party functions, including the ongoing campaign for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections, for the next three days.
Gogoi served as an MLA from the Titabor assembly constituency since 2001. He was also a six-time parliamentarian and served as a Union minister twice.