Assam: Gogoi makes Congress third time lucky!
Behind the genial smile and a straight-forward approach of 75-year-old Gogoi, who has also served as a Union minister and six terms in Lok Sabha, lies a man who means business when it comes to development of Assam.
Complete Coverage: Assembly Elections 2011
The highlight of Gogoi's ten-year rule in the past was bringing several militant outfits of the state, including the ULFA, to the negotiating table and ensuring financial stability of the state government.
Gogoi had taken over the reins of power for the first time on May 17, 2001, from the Asom Gana Parishad and was faced with the challenge of bringing the state out of the morass of militant violence and financial instability characterised by a huge debt burden, so much so that even government employees were not receiving their salaries on time.
His initiative in this direction paid dividends and Congress returned to power for the second consecutive term, albeit with lesser seats and he formed the government in alliance with its coalition partner Bodoland Peoples' Front in 2006.
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Image: Tarun Gogoi celebrates with family after Friday's victory
Dialogue with ULFA, highlight of Gogoi's stint as CM
Plagued by ill-health in the last year of his second term, Gogoi underwent three complicated heart surgeries -- a bypass, aortic valve replacement and enlargement of the aorta procedure -- at Mumbai's Asian Heart Institute.
He again underwent a surgery for replacing his pace maker just a few weeks before election campaign was scheduled to start this year.
On both the occasions, he recovered fast and took charge of both office and election campaign with renewed vigour.Enjoying the confidence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Gogoi's journey to the state's top post was scripted with patience and perseverance.
Image: Gogoi enjoys the confidence of Sonia Gandhi and PM Dr Singh
Gogoi's rendezvous with politics started in Std X
His penchant for politics took roots early in life. Though his father had wanted him to study medicine or engineering he had set his heart on politics and even told his teacher that he wanted to become Prime Minister when he grew up.
Motivated by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who visited Jorhat in 1952, Gogoi, then studying in Class X, began participating in various political activities and much to the annoyance of his father and teachers failed to clear his High School Leaving examinations that year. He, however, cleared it the next year as a private candidate.
Gogoi plunged into politics as a student of Jagannath Barooah College in Jorhat and after his graduation, joined the Allahabad University to pursue a law degree. He, however, fell ill and returned to Assam getting his law degree from Gauhati University.
Image: Gogoi with PM Dr Singh
Gogoi joined Congress in 1963
He also served the party as a general secretary and joint secretary in the 1980s, besides heading the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee from 1986-90 and again from 1997 to 2001.
His foray into electoral political office began with his election as a member of the Jorhat Municipal Board in 1968 and in 1971 he was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time from the Jorhat Parliamentary constituency.Gogoi was a member of the fifth, sixth, seven, ten, twelve and thirteenth Lok Sabha and was the Union Minister of Food Processing with independent charge from 1991 to 1995.
Image: Gogoi with Home Minister P Chidambaram
Gogoi and the aam aadmi
Married to Dolly Gogoi, a postgraduate in Zoology from Gauhati University, in 1972 in Guwahati, the couple has a daughter, Chandrima, an MBA and a son Gaurav who holds a degree in Public Administration from New York University.Gogoi's family, with his wife choosing to be a housewife and both his children living abroad, have stayed away from politics though his son campaigned for his father in his constituency Titabor. However, the indulgent father claimed his son had no intention of joining politics but was currently visiting Assam to understand his state and people better.
Image: Gogoi consoles an elderly woman in Guwahati