Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi was “one of the tallest leaders of the Congress party”.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) president in her condolence message at the former Assam CM’s demise said Gogoi was “admired and respected for his extraordinary wisdom, vision and ability”.

Former three-time Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi passed away at 5.34 pm on Monday at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH).

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

Expressing her grief at the demise of the Congress stalwart, party president Sonia Gandhi has written a letter to the ex-CM’s son, Kaliabor MP, Gaurav Gogoi.

Addressing Gaurav Gogoi, Sonia Gandhi wrote: “It is with great grief that I learnt of the passing away of your beloved father.”

“Shri Tarun Gogoi was one of the tallest leaders of the Congress party, admired and respected for his extraordinary wisdom, vision and ability,” the letter said.

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

“With his long years of experience as an MLA, an MP, a Central Minister and Chief Minister of Assam, he was someone to whose unfailingly wise counsel and advice we could always turn to,” Gandhi wrote in the letter.

Gogoi, who was elected AICC joint secretary in 1976 under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, also served as the party’s national general secretary from 1985-90 under Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Recalling Gogoi’s relationship with former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi as party leader, Sonia Gandhi wrote:  “I know in what great regard Smt Indira Gandhi and Shri Rajiv Gandhi held him.”

She said for her, “his loss is also a deeply personal one”.

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

“I cannot forget the warmth and care he showed me on my many visits to Assam. During those visits, I saw how loved he was by all the many communities and people of Assam, how much he had done for them, and for their progress and welfare,” she added.

“No wonder he was Assam’s most universally loved and venerated public figure and the longest-serving Chief Minister of the State,” the letter said.

Tarun Gogoi was re-admitted to GMCH on November 1 for the second time after he felt breathing problems.

Gogoi, who tested Covid19 positive on August 26, 2020, was discharged on October 25 following 60 days of hospitalization.

In the letter to Gaurav Gogoi, Gandhi further wrote: “At this time of grief my thoughts are with you and your family. Your father‘s life was cut short by this cruel pandemic, but he leaves a precious and lasting legacy in the standards he set and in his immense contribution to national life.”

“He is now relieved from his suffering, and at peace. The Congress party will always honour his memory,” the letter further said.

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