Nation condoles former Speaker PA Sangma's death, tributes pour in

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

New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma died of a heart attack in New Delhi on Friday. He was 68. 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."

"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."

Former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi too condoled the demise of the former Lok Sabha Speaker, saying the north-east has lost an important voice.

Dr. Singh India has lost one of the tallest leaders from north-east who represented India in various forums as the Speaker of Lok Sabha.

Recalling his contributions as a public representative, the Congress president said that the nation had lost a tall leader.

The Congress vice-president said Sangma's demise is a great loss to the nation. "Deepest condolences on the passing away of veteran leader & former LS Speaker Shri PA Sangma. His demise is a great loss to the nation," he tweeted.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also expressed grief at Sangma's demise, saying he was admired by all.

"It's deeply saddening and shocking news for all of us because he was in the house till two days ago. He was a very popular figure whatever the political differences the people may have with him, everyone used to like and admire him because he always used to laugh and was universally liked," said Tharoor.

"Our thoughts, our prayers go out to him and his family. This is a tragic development and India has lost a very important north-east leader. The whole country should mourn his passing," he added.

Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary on her part said Sangma's memories would always remain with the people of this country.

"He was a wonderful orator, who always had a smiling face. His memory will always be with us," Chowhdary said.

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. 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.

( Source : PTI )
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