New Delhi: Purno Agitok Sangma (September 1, 1947-March 4, 2016) was one of those rare politicians who were not just loved by the masses, but was also respected even by the staunchest of critics. Here’s a look at the journey of a man from Shillong who made a mark in the country’s corridors of power:
 
 
PA Sangma: A life less ordinary
 
In 1973, Sangma became the vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress in Meghalaya and became the general secretary soon after. He served as the general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee of Meghalaya from 1975 to 1980.
 
He was the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990.
 
Sangma was the Speaker of Lok Sabha from 1996 to 1998.
 
Sangma, along with Sharad Pawar, was a co-founder of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which was formed in 1999. 
 
In 2004, Sangma created a divide in the NCP. After losing a clash over the NCP election symbol, Sangma later merged with Trinamool Congress and formed the Nationalist Trinamool Congress.
 
 
In 2005, he resigned from his Lok Sabha seat as a member of All India Trinamool Congress and got reelected as Nationalist Congress Party candidate in February 2006.
 
In March 2008, he resigned from 14th Lok Sabha and took part in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly elections.
 
Sangma was in the Presidential election race. He lost to his peer, Pranab Mukherjee, on July 22, 2012.
 
He was a member of the Lok Sabha for eight terms. Currently, he represented the Tura (ST) constituency in the West Garo Hills district in the sixteenth Lok Sabha.
 
Known for his meticulous homework, complete mastery of the subject at hand and phenomenally long memory for facts and details, Sangma was a minister who could reply to a heated debate in Parliament without the aid of officials’ slips from the Officers’ Gallery.