Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who had been battling for his life with post-Covid complications in a hospital for weeks, died of multiple organ failure, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled his death and said he was 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," he 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 said Mr Gogoi will be remembered for developing Assam.
"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," he tweeted.
He will always be remembered for the development of Assam and especially towards his efforts to improve law and order and fighting insurgency in the state. His passing away marks the end of an era. In this hour of grief, condolences to his family, friends and supporters.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 23, 2020
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who had cancelled an official tour over Mr Gogoi's health on Monday, described him as a people's leader.
"Tarun Gogoi was a people's leader who had great contribution in Assam's political and public sphere. Even though we were in Opposition parties, we shared a wonderful rapport and he was a guiding figure. My deepest condolences to his family and well-wishers," he tweeted.
I express heartfelt condolences on the demise of former Chief Minister, a tall leader & our most respected Tarun Gogoi da. It's the end of an era in Assam's public life. He was so vibrant and full of life until a few days back, couldn't believe this sad news. pic.twitter.com/GFiAsmc4FB— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) November 23, 2020
Mr Gogoi, a Congress stalwart, had tested positive for the coronavirus on August 25 and was admitted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital the next day. He had recovered from COVID-19 and was discharged from the hospital after two months.
But he had to be re-admitted on November 2, because of post-Covid complications, and was put on non-invasive ventilation till his condition deteriorated on Saturday.
On Sunday, Mr Gogoi's health had improved slightly but his urine output remained a cause of concern. Today, Mr Sarma, while giving an update on his health, had said that he was "extremely critical".
Assam will observe state mourning for three days over Mr Gogoi's death. His funeral will take place on November 26.