Published On: Fri, Mar 4th, 2016

Former Speaker P A Sangma dies, leaders condole

New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma died of a heart attack here today.

 Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma passed away at the age of 68.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma passed away at the age of 68.

Sangma, who unsuccessfully contested the presidential election as an opposition candidate against Pranab Mukherjee, was 68 years old.

Parliament sources said the end came this morning after he suffered a heart attack.

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

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.”

Parliament was adjourned today as a mark of respect for the departed leader.

Leaders from across the political spectrum today paid glowing tributes to former Lok Sabha Speaker Sangma, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing him as a “self-made” leader who had a “monumental” contribution in the development of the North-East.

The Prime Minister said that Sangma had a “down-to-earth personality and affable nature” and added that he was deeply influenced by Netaji Bose.”

Sangma was a nine-time MP and represented Tura Lok Sabha seat in Meghalaya.

He was also the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990 and Leader of Opposition in the assembly from 1990 to 1991.

Born on September 1, 1947 in village Chapahati in the picturesque West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya, Sangma grew up in the small tribal village and struggled hard to rise in life.

After completing his graduation from St Anthony’s College, he went to Dibrugarh University in Assam for his Masters degree in International Relations. Subsequently, he also obtained a degree in Law.

A Congressman who was one of the founding members of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), was expelled from it in July 2012 when he refused to accept his party’s decision to quit the race for India’s President. In January 2013, he had formed the National People’s Party.

“He was a very effective and successful Speaker. It was shocking news because he was quite fit and active. The country has lost a great person who was a champion of North-East’s cause,” NCP Chief Sharad Pawar said. Sangma was the co-founder of NCP.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said Sangma was liked and admired by all political leaders irrespective of their political difference.

“It’s deeply saddening and shocking news for all of us because he was in the House till two days ago. In fact, he had given his name to speak on the President’s address”

“He was a very popular figure whatever the political differences people may have had with him, everyone liked and admired him a great deal. He was somebody who was universally liked.

PTI

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