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Former Assam Chief Minister for three consecutive terms and veteran Congress leader, Tarun Gogoi passed away at 5:34 pm on Monday, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed.
The 86-year-old Congress leader, who was undergoing treatment at GMCH for post-COVID complications and battling for life at the intensive care unit of Guwahati Medical College and Hospital, was put on life support after his health further deteriorated on Monday morning.
“An ECG (electrocardiogram) done this evening indicated that his heart completely stopped beating and it was then that the GMCH superintendent formally announced his demise at 5:34 pm,” Sarma said.
The health minister said that the mortal remains of Gogoi would be taken to his official residence here and taken to Sankaradeva Kalakshetra either on Monday night or Tuesday morning for people to pay their last respects to the departed leader.
Asked where the veteran Congress leader would be cremated, Sarma told reporters that his family members would take a final call on the venue, whether it will be his home town in Jorhat district or Guwahati.
Earlier in the day, Sarma had informed that Gogoi’s health had deteriorated substantially and that it would be difficult for the team of doctors to revive his condition.
“Even after mechanical support, his oxygen saturation levels have dropped to 85 (from 91 at 10 am). His brain was receiving a mild response with a reflex action observed in his eyes. His heart is mildly functioning due to the pacemaker implanted in his body,” Sarma, who visited GMCH with his family in the morning, told the media around 11:30 am on Monday.
Doctors had done dialysis for six hours on Sunday.
“The dialysis had resulted in positive results with toxic levels going down substantially, but as soon as the process concluded, the toxic levels increased,” Sarma said.
Gogoi, who was under non-invasive ventilation since being readmitted to GMCH on November 2, had to be put under mechanical ventilation (intubation) following a multi-organ failure along with difficulty in breathing.
Gogoi’s son and Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi, daughter Chandrima (who arrived here from the US on Sunday) along with other family members were at GMCH on Monday.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal cancelled some of his programmes to take a flight back to Guwahati from Dibrugarh on Monday afternoon.
Gogoi, who was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 and other post-recovery complications, was discharged from GMCH on October 25, after spending about two months there.
The veteran politician had tested positive for COVID-19 on August 25 and was admitted to the GMCH the next day.
He was readmitted to the hospital on November 2 after complaining of restlessness and uneasiness in breathing the previous night.
Born on October 11, 1934, Tarun Gogoi was a tall leader in not just the Indian National Congress but Indian politics in general, having served as the three-time chief minister of Assam from 2001 to 2016.
Gogoi’s political career started in 1968 when he was appointed member of the Jorhat Municipal Board.
In 1971, Gogoi was elected to the fifth Lok Sabha during the tenure of Indira Gandhi.
Tarun Gogoi won the 2001 Assam Legislative Assembly elections from Titabar assembly and became the chief minister of Assam.
In 2016, his tenure came to an end after the INC suffered a defeat against the BJP.
Gogoi completed six terms as a Member of Parliament (MP) from the Lok Sabha.
From 1971–85, Gogoi represented Jorhat constituency.
He was later elected from Kaliabor (1991–96/1998–2001).
(Edited by Andre Kongri)