Assam finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was once the “right-hand man” of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, on Monday admitted that he was lucky to have worked under Gogoi.

Sarma made the statement on his Twitter handle while recalling his former mentor after the demise of Tarun Gogoi.

Gogoi passed away at 5.34 pm on Monday at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH).

Tarun Gogoi, who remained as chief minister for three terms from 2001-2016, included Sarma in his ministry in 2002.

Also read: Tarun Gogoi was one of the tallest leaders of Congress: Sonia Gandhi

Sarma held important portfolios both as state and cabinet minister including finance, education, health and Assam Accord implementation from 2002-2014 under Gogoi.

However, in the third term of Gogoi’s ministry, the relationship between Sarma and his former mentor Gogoi turned sour.

Also read: Assam CM Sonowal declares 3-day state mourning for Tarun Gogoi, pays tribute to ex-CM

Later Sarma resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP on August 23, 2015, ahead of the state Assembly polls in 2016.

Gogoi, most of the time, remained a target of Sarma after he joined the BJP. However, health minister Sarma tried his best to extend support towards Gogoi when he was undergoing treatment at GMCH.

Also read: Tarun Gogoi’;s mortal remains to be kept at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra for 2 days

After Gogoi’s demise, Sarma has termed the former chief minister as a “man of grand vision & extraordinary passion”.

Sarma, who once worked closely with Gogoi, said Tarun Gogoi was a “people’s man” who focused on progress & enjoyed the “support of all”.

Also read: Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi passes away at 86

“I was lucky to have worked under him. He rescued Assam from a period of darkness & led it for 15 yrs ensuring a new phase of development,” Sarma admitted while sharing pictures when they shared the dais in meetings.

In his condolence message, Sarma said: “The loss of Shri Tarun Gogoi is huge & his absence will mean a vacuum in Assam’s politics that shall be difficult to fill.”

“I offer my condolences to the bereaved family & pray to God to give his soul eternal peace. Om Shanti,” Sarma tweeted.

The loss of Shri Tarun Gogoi is huge & his absence will mean a vacuum in Assam’s politics that shall be difficult to fill.

I offer my condolences to the bereaved family & pray to God to give his soul eternal peace.

Om Shanti.

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