Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma passed away on Friday. According to reports, Sangma died of a heart attack at his Delhi residence. Sangma, who unsuccessfully contested the presidential election as an opposition candidate against Pranab Mukherjee, was 68 years old. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and other members of the House today condoled the passing away of Sangma and hailed him as a ''very popular mass leader''.
The former Meghalaya chief minister was elected to the Lok Sabha eight times since his first entry to the Lower House in 1977. He was the Lok Sabha Speaker between 1996 and 1998. Sangma was expelled from the Congress in 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar for raising a banner of revolt against Sonia Gandhi over her foreign origin issue. Subsequently, the trio formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
However, he left the NCP in 2004 and formed a regional party, which later merged with Trinamool Congress. He later rejoined the NCP, but only to part ways with it later and unsuccessfully contested the presidential election against Pranab Mukherjee. He was supported by BJP, BJD, AIADMK and others.
Purno Agitok Sangma was born on 1 September 1947 in village Champahati in the picturesque West Garo Hills District of the State of Meghalaya in North East India. Growing up in the small tribal village, young Sangma realised early in life that he would have to struggle hard to rise in life. Inspired by his mother who inculcated in him the values of diligence, humility and honesty, he learnt that education was the only way to progress 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.