Veteran Congress leader and three-time (2001-2016) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi (86) passed away on Monday evening after a protracted illness, Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The former Union minister and sitting member of Assam assembly is survived by his wife Dolly Gogoi, son Gaurav Gogoi, a Lok Sabha member, and daughter Chandrima Gogoi who lives in the US.
Announcing Gogoi's death, Sarma told the media that the former Chief Minister's body would be kept at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati on Monday night.
According to Assam Pradesh Congress chief Ripun Bora, the mortal remains of Gogoi would be cremated with full state honours in Guwahati on Thursday.
"On November 26, Gogoi's last journey would start from the Kalakshetra and his cremation would take place in Guwahati instead of his hometown Titabor," Bora said.
According to his last desire, Gogoi's body would be taken to a temple, mosque and church before the cremation, Bora added.
The longest serving Assam Chief Minister, Gogoi's health condition deteriorated since Friday due to post-Covid-19 complications. He also suffered a multi-organ failure.
Following post-Covid-19 complications, the veteran politician, who was on non-invasive ventilation (NIV) since he was admitted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on November 2, was put under invasive ventilation.
Doctors at the GMCH said that Gogoi's health condition deteriorated gradually with problems in breathing following which the doctors put him on an intubation ventilator, which is a machine driven ventilation.
"The doctors tried hard to revive his organs with medicines and other methods besides serving dialysis numerous times, but all the efforts have failed," the Health Minister said.
He said the doctors at GMCH were in constant touch with experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. Due to his critical condition, Gogoi could not be shifted outside the state for treatment.
Gogoi was discharged from the hospital on October 25 after he recovered from Covid-19 and other post-recovery complications after more than 60 days.
He was administered plasma therapy and subsequently became stable.
The octogenarian Congress leader was under the observation of the nine-member medical team headed by GMCH Superintendent Abhijit Sarmah.
Gogoi had tested positive for Covid-19 on August 25 and was admitted to the GMCH the next day.
Gogoi represented the Titabar Assembly constituency in Jorhat district.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and a host of leaders across the country have offered their condolences on the demise of Gogoi.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his counterparts in the othere northeastern states deeply mourned the death of Gogoi.
Sonowal, who announced that the state government would observe three-day state mourning in honour of Gogoi, said: "With the death of Gogoi, the state has lost a great leader. He set high moral standards with his selfless service to the people. I feel like losing a father with his death."
Assam Congress leaders said that many central leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, are expected to visit Assam on Tuesday and Wednesday to pay their last respect to Gogoi.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, main opposition Congress and other political parties have also cancelled all their organisational events, including the ongoing campaign for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections, for the next three days as a mark of respect to the former Chief Minister.
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