Guwahati, July 27: Veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi finally bade an emotional farewell to the state guest house No 1 atop Koinadhara hill here, that was his official residence for the past 17 years.
After the Supreme Court directive to the former chief ministers to vacate the government guest house, Gogoi left it and shifted to his new residence, M-7 Ministers’ Colony, adjacent to the secretariat in Dispur.
The state guest house in Koinadhara was constructed 1976 during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting at Jawahar Nagar here in which former premier Indira Gandhi and AICC president Devakanta Baruah took part.
The three time chief minister of the state, Gogoi strolled on the lush green lawn of the property for the last time appreciating the wide variety of plants.
“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,” Gogoi said in his new residence.
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.
“I had spent bad days here too. When I took over the reigns 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,” he remembered.
“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 also 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.
Asked if chief minister 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. (with PTI input)