Congress after Tarun Gogoi

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Congress after Gogoi

Swapnil Bharali | November 29, 2020 09:29 hrs


He was loveable in his own special kind of way. Talkative, interactive and a ‘Bordeuta’ figure who gave the feeling that he basically had everyone of his citizens covered. And Assam prospered under his guardianship. 


As we bid adieu to Tarun Gogoi, I keep getting this uncanny feeling that in those fateful days when the coronavirus attack was in full force, he needed a bit of supervision mainly because of his age. But would he have allowed that? No! Tarun Gogoi’s connect with people that he considered his own was too great to have kept him tied down unlike other senior Congress leaders who were his peers. All of them now seem so spent and redundant that the current Congress leadership is bound to feel the great loss as and when they wade deeper into the election waters from early next year.


To be very clear and without mincing words, Assam Congress has lost its one and only grassroots leader and the party’s death knell has been sounded. When it comes to plain speaking on the practicalities of the politics of our times, we have been witness to the Congress Party winning at least one election riding on sympathy votes. The assassination of Indira Gandhi had actually paved the way for Rajiv Gandhi to win the general election handsomely. That was a gruesome murder of a Prime Minister and all sympathies obviously lay with her son who eventually went on to be a suave and capable PM. Unfortunately in the case of Assam, things look different and the Congress Party has indeed lost its main rudder.


Elections in Assam, over the last three instances, have been mainly leader-based rather than party-based and the all-winning leader has been Himanta Biswa Sarma without any doubt. In the case of Congress, Gogoi relied completely on Sarma’s acumen to score the winning runs. Sarma’s switch to BJP meant that there was no looking back for the saffron party. Given these practicalities, Tarun Gogoi’s death at this time is the biggest loss that the Congress could have suffered given that none of its leaders have the great grassroots connect that the late leader and his disarming smile had. 


Gaurav Gogoi’s choice of taking up a political career is correct and he remains a fine parliamentarian. But as Tarun Gogoi’s son, he has failed to be as big an inspirational leader as his father so far. 

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