NEW DELHI, March 4 (IANS): Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma died following a heart attack here on Friday morning. He was 68. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his tenure as Lok Sabha speaker would remain unforgettable.
Sangma presided over the 11th Lok Sabha as speaker from 1996 to 1998. He also remained chief minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990.
Sangma was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha from Tura constituency on the National Peoples Party ticket, the political outfit he launched in 2013.
Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan read out an obituary and the house observed two minutes' silence before it was adjourned for the day.
President Pranab Mukherjee condoled Sangma's death and said: �In passing away of Shri Sangma, the nation has lost an eminent public figure and multi-faceted personality.�
Modi said in a statement that Sangma was a self-made leader whose contribution to the development of the northeast was monumental.
�Sangma's tenure as Lok Sabha Speaker is unforgettable. His down-to-earth personality and affable nature endeared him to many,� he added.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said �the nation has lost a tall leader and the northeast has lost an important voice�.
BJP president Amit Shah tweeted: �Saddened by the sudden demise of former loksabha speaker P A Sangma, My condolences to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.�
Sangma was born on September 1, 1947 in village Chapahati in Meghalaya. After completing his graduation from St Anthony's College, at Shillong, he went to Dibrugarh University in Assam for his Master's degree in International Relations. Subsequently, he also received a degree in Law.
He leaves behind his wife, a daughter and two sons.