By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 14: Former Union minister and senior Congress leader from Assam Renuka Devi Barkataki passed away at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Monday. She was 85. Her funeral will be performed on Tuesday with State honours.
Born in 1932, she was the Union Minister of State for Education, Social Welfare and Culture in the Jata Party government led by then Prime Minister Morarji Desai from 1977 to 1979. In 1962, she was elected to the third Lok Sabha from Barpeta constituency as an Indian tiol Congress candidate. In 1972, she was elected to the Assam Legislative Assembly from Hajo constituency. In 1977, she was elected to the 6th Lok Sabha from Guwahati constituency as a Jata Party candidate.[ Later, she was honorary chairperson of the Assam state branch of the Indian Red Cross Society. She was also the president of the Indian tiol Trade Union Congress IINTUC). Her husband Munin Barkataki was a reputed writer who predeceased her. She is survived her by daughter and son-in-law.
Meanwhile, State Governor Banwarilal Purohit led the State in condoling the sudden demise of Renuka Devi Barkataki the Chairperson.
In his condolence message, Purohit termed Barkataki as a dedicated social worker and a leader who made all efforts for the cause of the community. She was a symbol of strength for women who focused primarily on the margilized communities in society and served the weak, aged, sick, destitute, orphans and the vulnerable class.
The Governor also said that, as chairperson of the Indian Red Cross Society, she served the state with deep commitment, compassion and love for the people. Her death ‘is an irreparable loss to the state’. He also prayed to the Almighty for eterl peace of the departed soul.
State Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal also condoled the death of Renuka Devi Barkataki. In a message, he said that she would remain immortal for her contribution as a politician and a social worker. He has asked the Chief Secretary to make everything possible for her funeral with State Honours.
APCC president Ripun Bora said that the Congress lost a sincere leader in the demise of Barkataki. “Her ideology will continue to remain emulative for us,” he said. Former State chief ministers Tarun Gogoi and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta also condoled the death of Barkataki. AGP president Atul Bora, State BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass, minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, the Asom Bodhir Santha (ABS) general secretary Tapan Kumar Sarma also condoled the death of Barkataki who was former ABS president.