Gogoi: Man with administrative and political acumen

Last Updated: Wed, May 18, 2011 13:23 hrs

Guwahati: With his administrative acumen and a rare insight into the complex dynamics of Assam politics, Tarun Gogoi enjoys the confidence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Gogoi, who is credited with bringing ULFA to the negotiating table and pulling Assam back from the brink of bankruptcy, is rewarded with a third consecutive term in office as Chief Minister.

Gogoi's penchant for politics took roots early in life and though his father had wanted him to study medicine or engineering, his heart was set on politics. He even once told his teacher that he wanted to become the Prime Minister.

Powerfully motivated by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who visited Jorhat in 1952, Gogoi (75), then studying in Class 10, began participating in political activities. He failed to clear his High School examinations that year.

He, however, managed to clear it next year as a private candidate.

After leaving school, he joined the Jagannath Barooah College where he plunged into students' politics and after graduation, joined the Allahabad University to pursue a law.

Gogoi sworn in as Assam chief minister

He, however, fell ill and returned to Assam and received his law degree from the Gauhati University.

An active leader of the Assam unit of Bharat Yuvak Samaj, Gogoi joined the Congress in 1963 and since then has been a party loyalist ardently supporting Indira Gandhi, her son Rajiv Gandhi and now Sonia Gandhi.

He also served the party as an AICC General Secretary and Joint Secretary in 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, seventh, 10th, 12th and 13th Lok Sabhas and was the Union Minister of Food Processing with independent charge from 1991 to 1995.

He also served as member in several committees including the Committee on Government Assurances, on External Affairs, Consultative Committee of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Committee on Railways.

He was a former director of Vayudoot, member of Assam Bar Council and former Chairman of Assam Small Scale Industries Development Council. More

More from Sify: