PA Sangma (full name Purno Agitok Sangma), one of the greatest political leaders in recent times to emerge from the Northeast, former Lok Sabha speaker and Meghalaya Chief Minister between 1988 and 1990, passed away on Friday after suffering a heart attack.
He was born on 1 September, 1947 in Chapathi village of West Garo Hills of Meghalaya. He has served as a lecturer, lawyer and journalist before joining politics. He was the co-founder of the Nationalist Congress Party and represented the Tura constituency in the West Garo Hills in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
However in the year 1999, he left Congress along with Tariq Anwar and Sharad Pawar to form the NCP and revolted against Sonia Gandhi on her foreign origin. Over the years though, the relationship between him and the Congress President improved. His daughter Agatha Sangma was also a minister in the UPA Government.
On June 20, 2012, Sangma resigned from the UPA constituent NCP after opposition from Sharad Pawar over his presidential candidature. He also stood as the presidential candidate against Pranab Mukherjee in the last election and was instrumental in ensuring that his party NPP came back to power in the recent GHADC election.
According to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, PA Sangma was a self-made leader whose contribution towards the development of the Northeast is monumental. ‘He was greatly influenced by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. His tenure as Lok Sabha Speaker is unforgettable, his down-to-earth personality and affable nature endeared him to many,’ Modi shared.