GUWAHATI: With the demise of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, senior AASU (All Assam Students' Union) leaders expressed their grief and paid tribute to his mortal remains at the 'Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra' here on Wednesday. Addressing the media persons, the leaders highlighted some key initiatives taken by Gogoi during his tenure, and termed his demise as the end of an era in Assam politics.
AASU president Dipanko Kumar Nath said that the State was tormented by secret killings when he assumed power. But in a short span of time, he resolved the problems in an efficient manner.
AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said, "He administered the State for a long time. An experienced political leader, during his journey he tried to solve the issues of the State in a democratic manner. He took new initiatives for the development of Assam and took the State forward. He expressed concern and took efforts to find a permanent solution to the illegal immigration crisis."
He also recalled a time when the AASU demanded that the Indian-Bangladesh border be sealed; and urged Gogoi to visit the border areas. "We didn't hope that the CM will visit the border on our appeal. However, he visited the border areas and took initiatives to seal the border," said Bhattacharya.
"When the Asian Car Rally was organized, the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was scheduled to visit the State. We protested against the car rally and demanded PM-level-talks for the implementation of Assam Accord. At that time, he opted to solve the issue by dialogue and invited AASU for a tri-party discussion that was chaired by Manmohan Singh. In the tri-party meeting, the decision to update the NRC (National Register of Citizens) was taken for the first time at the Prime Ministerial level. He tried to face all our agitations in a democratic manner. We believe that other leaders should also try to solve issues in a democratic manner. We have lost an experienced leader," added Bhattacharya.
Newly elected AASU general secretary Sankar Jyoti Baruah said, "He treated every section of people in the same way. He was a very humble leader and his death is the end of an era. We are disheartened with this loss. The people of Assam will remember him. We express our condolences to members of the bereaved family."
AASU's outgoing general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, "Tarun Gogoi tried to revive the degraded economy of the State. With infrastructural developments, he also took initiatives to establish a university for women. It was a historic step."