Gaurav Gogoi is close to Rahul Gandhi – the kind of association his father, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, had with the Congress vice-president’s father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
And his arrival on Assam’s political scene was the reason why the senior Gogoi’s trusted lieutenant Himanta Biswa Sarma revolted in 2013 and left the Congress 10 MLAs short two years later.
But 34-year-old Gogoi, a Lok Sabha member from central Assam’s Kaliabor constituency, is more than the “son of a CM” at the centre of “dynastic culture” that rival parties in the poll-bound state say is in the DNA of the Congress.
He is the Congress’ star campaigner – as much for his father in Titabor assembly constituencies as for other party candidates elsewhere.
A graduate from St Columba’s School in Delhi, Gaurav did his BTech in electronic and communication engineering from Indraprastha University before going to the United States to study public administration. That, perhaps, explains his skill in communicating with the common man.
“India needs young, educated and technologically savvy leaders adept in policy-making, are open to public scrutiny and able to relate to voters as equals,” he said.
His approach paid dividends in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls – his was one of three seats that the Congress won. Of the remaining 11 seats, the BJP won seven.
The Congress has fielded 122 candidates, a mix of youth and experience, for election to the 126-member assembly on April 4 and 11. Many party candidates hope the charisma of the Gogois – father and son – would see them through.
Gaurav married Elizabeth Colburn, a British citizen, in 2013. Like him, she is also associated with an NGO.