NEW DELHI, June 16 - Senior politician and Assam Congress president Anjan Dutta passed away following cardiac failure at the AIIMS hospital at 7 am today.
The 64-year-old Dutta had been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of the Department of Pulmonary Sciences of AIIMS hospital on May 18. Before that, he had been admitted to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, due to severe chest infection on May 12, soon after he returned with his family from a family vacation in South Africa.
Dutta is survived by his wife and three daughters. One of the daughters had contested the Assam Assembly elections recently, but lost it.
Dutta was suffering from pneumonia and uncontrolled diabetes and had been treated by a team of doctors. His end, however, came following a massive cardiac arrest.
The body was embalmed at the AIIMS and from there it was taken to Guwahati in a special flight, accompanied by family members and a few family friends.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi turned up at the AIIMS to offer their condolences to the bereaved family members and spend over two hours there before the body was taken for embalming. The two leaders left the hospital only to return minutes before the body was to be taken to the airport.
In a statement, Gandhi expressed deep shock and grief over the untimely demise of Dutta. Extending her condolences to his wife and daughters, Gandhi said that with the passing away of the Assam PCC president, the entire Congress party, as indeed the State of Assam had lost a leader committed to the people.
State Congress MPs, including Gaurav Gogoi also rushed to the hospital.
Dutta, who was considered as the man who turned around the Assam State Transport Corporation when he was the State Transport Minister, was a close associate of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
He was previously in charge of several departments of the State, including transport and was also elected thrice as the MLA of Amguri constituency.
Dutta became the president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee on December 13, 2014.
Our Staff Reporter adds from Guwahati: The mortal remains of Dutta, which arrived in Guwahati around 7.30 pm today, was received by his party men and well wishers at the Guwahati airport and was straightaway brought to Rajiv Bhawan where hundreds paid their last tributes to the departed soul.
His body was taken to his Rukminigaon residence in Guwahati and then flown to Jorhat in a special flight from where he will be taken to Sivasagar (Amguri) where his last rites will be performed.
Born on April 13 in 1952, Dutta was associated with a number of social and sports organisations in various capacities.
Meanwhile, Governor PB Acharya expressed his condolences on the death of Dutta and prayed for the peace of the departed soul.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also condoled the death of the Congress leader and said that the State has lost a vibrant political leader and that the contributions made by Dutta will always be remembered.
The Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly too expressed grief at the demise of the Congress leader.
Earlier, several senior Congressmen, including former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, paid tributes to the APCC president at a condolence meet held at its party headquarters.