P A Sangma or Purno Agitok Sangma who was the Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha from 1996 to 1998 passed away at the age of 69 in New Delhi following a heart attack. Mr. Sangma was also the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990.
Here are some interesting known and lesser known facts about one of the most eminent leaders from North East to have shined on the national political platform.
Early life and education:
Mr. Sangma was born on the 1st of September 1947 in the village named Chapathi in West Garo Hills in Meghalaya.
He completed his B A with Honours from St. Anthony's College, Shillong. Post that he did his Masters in International Relations from Dibrugarh University in Assam. He also a law degree later.
Multi-talented P A Sangma:
Mr. Sangma has worked as a lecturer, lawyer and a journalist before taking a plunge in politics.
Political journey as Congress member:
The first big milestone in the political journey for Mr. Sangma came when in 1973 he became Vice-President of the Pradesh Youth Congress in Meghalaya.
He became the General Secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee of Meghalaya from 1975 to 1980.
He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1977 from Tura constituency. He was elected to Lok Sabha until 14th Lok Sabha, but for the 9th Lok Sabha.
From 1980 to 1988 he was part of the Union Government under various capacities. He held the post of Deputy Minister in charge of Industry, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Commerce, Minister of State holding charge of Commerce and Supply, Minister of State for Home Affairs and Minister of State for Labour with Independent Charge.
He was CM of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990. In 1991 he was again elected to Lok Sabha and served as Union Minister till 1996 when he became Speaker of Lok Sabha. He held the following ministries between 1991 and 1996: Union Minister of State, Coal (Independent Charge), Union Minister of State, Labour (Independent Charge), Union Minister of State, Labour and Union Cabinet Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
Downs in P A Sangma's political career:
The down in his political journey was when he was expelled from Congress on the 20th May 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar. He had raised the banner of revolt against Sonia Gandhi over her foreign origin issue.
He was one of the founding members of Nationalist Congress Party along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar. However, he had dispute with Sharad Pawar when he again grew close with Sonia Gandhi and so Mr. Sangma split from NCP in January 2004.
He then merged his faction with Mamata Banerjee's TMC forming Nationalist Trinamool Congress. He resigned from his Lok Sabha seat on 10th October 2005 and was relected as NCP candidate in February 2006.
In March 2008 he resigned from Lok Sabha to take part in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Election 2008.
P A Sangma as candidate for President of India:
Mr. Sangma resigned from NCP on 20th June 2012 after Sharad Pawar objected over his Presidential candidature against Pranab Mukherjee. Mr. Sangma's candidature was supported by AIADMK, BJd and BJP. After losing to Pranab Mukherjee on 23rd July 2012, Mr. Sangma had put up a charge of grafting against Pranab Mukherjee.
Forming National People's Party:
Mr. Sangma after losing against Pranab Mukerjee formed National People's Party on 5th of January 2013. The party managed to get two seats in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Election 2013.
Mr. Sangma's family:
Mr. Sangma's daughter Agatha Sangma has the honour of being the youngest Minister of State in the former UPA Government. Mr. Sangma's son, Conard Sangma, is the present Leader of the Opposition in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.