Veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Friday bade an emotional farewell to the Chief Minister’s official residence atop Koinadhara hill here, that was his home for 17 years.
Gogoi, former three-term chief minister and now only an MLA, strolled on the lush green lawn of the property for the last time appreciating the wide variety of plants.
He then drove to his new residence, M-7 Ministers’ Colony, adjacent to the secretariat in Dispur area of the city, which was allotted to him.
Asked if his BJP successor Sarbananda Sonowal will shift to the Koinadhora residence after he vacates it, Gogoi said, “I don’t think he will leave the luxury of the Brahmaputra Guest House. He likes all things luxurious”.
Sonowal now lives in the Brahmaputra Guest House on Kharghuli hill facing the river Brahmaputra.
Talking to reporters while vacating Koinadhara, a visibly emotional Gogoi said, “There have been some great memories associated with this house. It was in this house that I as chief minister from 2001 made important decisions for the welfare of the state and its people”.
“I had spent bad days here too. When I took over the reign of the administration of the state from Asom Gana Parishad, the treasury was empty, development works could not be undertaken, salaries of government employees could not be paid timely,” remembered the octogenarian leader.
“At the beginning of my term, insurgency was at its peak and incidents such as bomb blasts and killings used to take place at night,” Gogoi said.
“I succeeded in considerably improving the economic condition of the state,” he said adding that in the conference room of this house, he had held meetings with national and state ministers and officials.
Speaking about his private life in the sprawling one storey building, he said his grandchildren loved to play on the ground inside the compound of the building.
On the Koinadhara house becoming the chief minister’s official residence, Gogoi said, “It was a state guest house lying vacant for a long time with only occasional visitors like me as union food processing minister, staying here.”
“Assam did not have a designated Chief Minister’s residence. My predecessor Prafulla Kumar Mahanta continued living in the MLA quarter. So I decided to make this the Chief Minister’s residence”, he said.