New Delhi, March 4: Former Lok Sabha speaker Purna Agitok Sangma passed away on Friday. He was 69. The Lok Sabha was adjourned till March 8 as a mark of respect to the late leader. "We deeply mourn the passing away of PA Sangma ji. I had learnt how to run Lok Sabha with a smile from him," Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said.
Sagma, a heavyweight political leader from northeastern India, also served as the chief minister of Meghalaya (1988-90) before taking up as the speaker of the Lok Sabha in 1996 for two years. He was elected from Tura constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
A member of the Lok Sabha for eight terms, Sangma had founded the Nationalist Congress Party after being expelled from the Congress in 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar for raising a revolt against Congress president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin.
In 2004, he created a split in the NCP after Pawar became close to Sonia and later merged his faction with Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC), forming the Nationalist Trinamool Congress. He quit as the Lok Sabha member in 2005 and the TMC and was re-elected for the NCP in 2006.
In 2012, he contested for the presidential election with the NDA's support but lost to Pranab Mukherjee. He quit the NCP for differing with the party's leadership on challenging Mukherjee, since the NCP was an ally of the Congress in the then UPA government.
Sangma later founded the National People's Party in January 2013.
His daughter Agatha Sangma is a former Union minister while son Conrad is the Leader of the Opposition in Meghalaya Assembly.