Guwahati: Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma fondly remembered his over two-decades association with former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday and said that the state lost the 'Architect of Modern Assam'.
Sarma, who has been talking about his association with the late leader, said that he had the opportunity to work with Gogoi not just as a Congress party worker but he also got the opportunity to serve as a Minister in Gogoi's Cabinet.
"Tarun Gogoi represented a generation of great leaders. His demise marks the end of an era. He was a politician who was cut out for politics. Till the end, even in his hospital bed he followed the Bihar elections results very closely. He had dedicated his whole life to politics", Sarma said adding that he had personally called up the late Congress leader and said that it might not be advisable for a senior person like him to step out during these COVID times.
Gogoi was seen attending a lot of political rallies organized by the Congress party till he tested positive for COVID in August. Gogoi had tested negative in October but was hit by a barrage of post-COVID ailments as he had co-morbid conditions. He finally lost the battle on November 23.
Sarma said that the people of Assam would definitely remember the great leader for several initiatives taken by him and the contribution he made particularly in the following areas:
Bringing in peace and security to the state at a time when lawlessness, secret killings and militancy had become the order of the day.
Bringing in financial and social security for the people of the state.
Organising National Games was another big achievement of Tarun Gogoi.
Setting up of the Jorhat Medical College, a big boost to the healthcare infrastructure of the state.
Fixing the poor roads and overall creaky infrastructure of the state.
Minister Sarma was speaking at the funeral of the state's longest serving Chief Minister that was held in Navagraha crematorium on Thursday (November 26).
Minister Sarma was known to be the blue-eyed boy of Gogoi till they fell apart, Sarma rebelled against Gogoi post 2012 and switched to the saffron party. It was a well known secret that both Sarma and Gogoi shared the relation of a protégé and a mentor.
Sarma had served as a Minister in Tarun Gogoi's Cabinet from 2002-2014 as Finance, Planning and Development, PWD, Health Family Welfare and Agricultue Minister. Post 2012 the two fell apart, Sarma rebelled against Gogoi and finally in 2015, joined BJP.