Guwahati, May 19 (IANS) For 15 years he was at the helm of affairs in Assam. But finally anti-incumbency caught up with Tarun Gogoi in 2016 assembly elections. Despite his efforts, the 81-year-old Congressman could not buck the trend as he presided over his party’s decimation.
On Thursday, as the counting of votes began, Gogoi visited the Kamakhya temple to pray. But the deity, it seems, had already made up her mind. And so it will be Sarbananda Sonowal of the Bharatiya Janata Party who will take up the reins of this northeastern state for the next five years.
But even as Gogoi fades out, his name will remain etched in the state’s history. It was Gogoi who single-handedly brought the Congress to power in Assam in 2001. He also ensured the party’s victory in Assam in 2006 and 2011 assembly elections. And that’s how he became the state’s chief minister thrice.
Born to Kamaleswar Gogoi and Usha Gogoi on October 11, 1934 at Rangajan Tea Estate in Jorhat district, Gogoi started his political career as a Congress volunteer and was elected to the Jorhat Municipal Board in 1968.
In his early years, Gogoi studied Law and earned the LL.B. degree from Gauhati University. He began his career as a lawyer and simultaneously engaged himself in socio-political activities.
Gogoi was first elected to the fifth Lok Sabha in 1971 from Jorhat constituency in Assam and became the joint secretary of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1976. Later, he was re-elected to the sixth and the seventh Lok Sabha as well.
Gogoi also became the AICC general secretary in 1985. Between 1986 and 1990, he served as the president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC). He became the state unit’s president again in 1996, a position he has been holding since then.
Gogoi was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha again in 1991 from Kaliabor Lok Sabha constituency in Assam. Between 1991 and 1993, he was the Union minister of food (independent charge) and held the portfolio of food processing ministry in the central government between 1993 to 1995.
During 1997-98, he was elected to the Assam assembly from Margherita constituency. He was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha for the fifth time in 1998. In 1999, he was re-elected to the 13th Lok Sabha.
He assumed the office of Assam chief minister in May, 2001. In September that year he was elected to the assembly from Titabar constituency.
Gogoi contested the 2016 assembly elections in Assam from Titabar constituency which went to polls in the first phase on April 4.
(Aditya Baruah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)