Politics

Former Chief Minister of Assam Anwara Taimur Passed Away

She was Assam's only female and Muslim chief minister.

Guwahati: Assam’s only woman chief minister Syeda Anwara Taimur died on Monday due to a cardiac arrest in Australia, her family sources said. She was 83. Taimur was also the lone Muslim chief minister of the state.

The former chief minister was staying in Australia with her son for the past few years, the sources said. Taimur had helmed a Congress government in Assam from December 6, 1980, to June 30, 1981, when her term ended with the state being put under President’s rule for six months.

She was later the PWD and agriculture minister of the state from 1983 to 1985. Elected four times to the state assembly in 1972, 1978, 1983 and 1991, Taimur was a Rajya Sabha member in 1988.

She quit the Congress and joined the AIDUF in 2011. Before her foray into politics, the Aligarh Muslim University alumna was a lecturer in Economics in Debicharan Barua Girls College at Jorhat in 1956.

Her name did not figure in the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) final list in 2018 as she was away in Australia and could not apply for it, her family members said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled her death. In a tweet, he said, “…Her contributions towards Assams development will be remembered. May her soul rest in peace”.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has mourned the death of his predecessor. “Anwara Taimur, the lone woman chief minister of the state, was the peoples chief minister who served the people of Assam with compassion,” he said in a statement.

“During her long political career, she served the people of Assam as Chief Minister, the minister with different portfolios as well as MLA and MP. Her contributions to the state as well as for the welfare of the people will be acknowledged and remembered by the posterity. Her death is a loss to the state,” he added.

Assam’s minister Himanta Biswa Sarma described her death as a big loss for the state.

“An able administrator and affable peoples person, Syeda Mam was the only woman CM of Assam. A four-term MLA, she had an illustrious political career spanning over four decades. My prayers and condolences,” he said in a tweet.

The ruling Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass in a message to Taimur’s family said, “May my condolences bring you comfort and may my prayers ease the pain of this loss. I offer you my thoughts, prayers and well-wishes during this dark time in your life.”

Assam PCC president and Rajya Sabha member Ripun Bora said he was saddened by the news. “My heartfelt condolences to her family members in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” he said.

The AIUDF also mourned the demise of their member.