The man who brought cheer into the Parliament: PA Sangma passes away at 68

Purno Agitok Sangma, former Lok Sabha speaker and Meghalaya chief minister between 1988 and 1990 passed away on Friday after suffering a heart attack.

Lok Sabha was adjourned after paying tribute to the 68-year-old Sangma.

Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan said that she had learnt a lot from PA Sangma

Sangma was the co-founder of the Nationalist Congress Party and represented the Tura constitutency in the West Garo Hills in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Born on 1 September, 1947, Sangma had worked as a lecturer, lawyer and journalist before joining politics.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced the news of his death in the House, which was adjourned for the day.

PA Sangma. PTI

PA Sangma. PTI

While expressing deep grief over Sangma's passing away, Mahajan said he knew how to run the House with a smile and "I learnt this from him."

"A man of masses, Sangma strove relentlessly for the amelioration of the marginalised sections," the Speaker said.

Condoling the death of Sangma, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "a self-made leader whose contribution towards the development of the North East is monumental.

Saddened by his demise."

Sangma's tenure as Lok Sabha Speaker "is unforgettable. His down-to-earth personality and affable nature endeared him to many," he said, adding "Sangmaji was deeply influenced by Netaji Bose."

Sangma was a nine-time member of Lok Sabha and the Speaker in the 11th Lok Sabha. He had also held important portfolios in the central government.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also condoled Sangma's death. He said that Sangma was a "self-made leader" and his contributing to the Northeast was monumental.

Rajnath Singh also tweeted:

Sagarika Ghose had written fondly about the Lok Sabha speaker in an article published in Outlook around two decades ago:

"Not just smiled, he grinned; in fact, he even chuckled. He rose lightly to his feet. "Come on, yaar," he expostulated, the voice as musical as the guitars of Shillong. "Please, please, come on, come on." The House giggled. "Can't you see the chair is on its legs?" he enquired of a riotous member from across the Vindhyas. "Why are you worried?" he soothed a woman MP from the East. "Don't worry." Over a sea of bitter dispute, the Speaker's face floated like the Cheshire Cat's. Good humour poured down from the high chair onto the quarrelling benches. For a few moments hostilities were suspended as the guardian of the House unleashed a witticism. Purno Agitok Sangma had rescued the parliamentary spirit with a few good jokes."

According to his profile page on the Lok Sabha website, Sangma had a keen sense of understanding of the political realities of the Northeast — especially of his home state, Meghalaya. In 1988, he was elected the chief minister of Meghalaya and headed a 48-member coalition government in a tumultuous period in the state's political history.

In 1990, following the resignation of his government, Sangma became the Leader of the Opposition in the state legislative Assembly.

Updated Date: Mar 04, 2016 14:23 PM

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