Tura (Meghalaya), Mar 7: Thousands today bade tearful farewell to former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma as his remains were laid to rest at his hometown Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.
Speaking at the state funeral function at P M Stadium here before his mortal remains were laid to rest, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma hailed Purno A Sangma as a great political personality, who was able to link Meghalaya, north- eastern region and the country with the rest of the world.
"The country, Northeast and Meghalaya will always remember his contribution," the Chief Minister said while describing him as a man of the masses. As Sangma's mortal remains were taken from his residence to the stadium for the state funeral attended by thousands, messages from the President of India, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, Governor SC Jamir, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh were read out on the occasion.
Member of Lok Sabha from Shillong, Vincent Pala who represented the Northeast MP Forum said Purno A Sangma was the first tribal to become the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and he would be remembered as a man who could run the Parliament with a smile.
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The Leader of Opposition of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and former Chief Minister, Donkupar Roy expressed appreciation how Sangma had asked him to take over the reins as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
Before the departed leader's mortal remains were taken to the stadium for the state function, a short prayer service was held at his residence at Wakbakgre, where all the family members and friends including Bishop Andrew R Marak of the Catholic Tura Diocese and faithfuls took part.
Later, the mortal remains of P A Sangma were laid to rest at the Catholic cemetery located near Bishop's House in Tura.