Wednesday, March 09, 2016

North East MPs Forum Pays Tribute to Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma


(9th March, 2016)

The North East MPs Forum held a condolence meeting at the Parliament Annexe in New Delhi today to mourn the untimely demise of Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma.
Addressing the condolence meeting, Sikkim Lok Sabha MP Shri Prem Das Rai, Secretary-General of NEMPF, gave a brief account of Shri Sangma’s life and contribution to the nation. He remarked that Shri Sangma will be remembered as the man who ran the parliament with a smile. Nagland Lok Sabha MP Shri Neiphiu Rio, Vice Chairman, NEMPF, also paid rich tributes to the departed soul.
A condolence message to mourn the death of the former Lok Sabha Speaker was read out by Shri Rai on behalf of the Forum. A two-minute silence was observed in the memory of the departed soul.
The following is the text of the message that was read in the condolence meet:
Condolence message by NE MPs
(Mourning the demise of former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma)
Friends, we gather to pay our condolence and homage to one of North East India’s tallest political leaders, Shri PA Sangma who passed away on 4th March 2016 aged 68 years. We pray for the departed soul. May his soul rest in eternal peace. May his ever smiling demeanour, his humour and his magnanimity remain in our minds, as a reminder of what can be achieved by hard work and staying the course inspite of all odds.
We also pray for Mrs. Sangma and his immediate and extended family. May God give them the strength to overcome this terrible and untimely loss.
Purno in many languages means complete, and Purno Agitok Sangma led a complete life. Born on 1st September 1947 he was truly a man of Independent India.
A political stalwart and a man of the masses, he was a nine-time member of Lok Sabha and the Speaker in the 11th Lok Sabha from 1996-98. He also served with distinction while leading various Ministries in the central government. As the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990, he was instrumental in enabling the state to achieve rapid growth. A multi-faceted personality, Sangma had been a lecturer, a lawyer and a journalist prior to joining politics.
In ascending the chair of the Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Sangma achieved a string of firsts - first to be unanimously elected as Speaker, the first from the opposition, the youngest Speaker (at 49 years), and the first tribal. An amiable and affable personality, he will be remembered as the man who ran the parliament with a smile.
His stint as Speaker saw the formation of a Standing Joint Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women. He facilitated constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee for considering the Constitutional (Eighty-first) Amendment Bill seeking to enhance the presence of women in Parliament. Perhaps his experience of living in the matrilineal state of Meghalaya was an inspiration.
He also was supported by the BJP/NDA as candidate for the post of President during the elections of the electoral college in 2012 when Pranab Mukherjee was the UPA candidate.
We, the MPs of the North East, have had the pleasure of working closely with Sangmaji in the North-East Members of Parliament Forum (NEMPF). Under his Chairmanship in the 16th Lok Sabha, the NEMPF championed several issues important to meet the aspirations of the people of the North-East region. The forum presented a 10-point agenda highlighting proposals for the holistic development of the region to the Prime Minister. He was a strong advocate for building strong institutions to facilitate the development of the region.
A political titan of the North-East and champion of development, Shri Sangma will forever be remembered as an agent of social change and flag bearer of the idea of India. His door was always open to the many young people who sought his guidance.
Today the nation has lost a tall leader, and all of us a mentor and a dear friend.
Rest in Peace.
NEMPF was first formed in 1994-95 during the 10th Lok Sabha. Shri PA Sangma had taken the lead in its formation. Since then, NEMPF has been actively making representations, on behalf of the people of entire North Eastern Region, on various platforms and to constitutional bodies. For the duration of the 16th Lok Sabha, Shri Sangma, was unanimously elected the Chair of the NEMPF while Shri Mukut Mithi was elected as the Patron of the Forum.

Several parliamentarians from the North-East region attended the condolence meeting. Prominent among those who attended the meeting included: Shri Mukut Mithi, Dr. Thokchom Meinya, Shri Jitendra Choudhury, Ms Sushmita Dev, Shri C. L. Ruala, Shri Vincent H Pala, Shri Ronald Sapa Tlau, Shri Gaurav Gogoi, and Shri Sankar Datta.