Terming his contribution in the development of the Northeast as “monumental”, PM Narendra Modi paid tributes to former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, who died Friday, by describing him as a “self-made” leader who was influenced by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The PM said Sangma’s tenure as the Speaker “is unforgettable”. He was “a self-made leader whose contribution towards the development of the Northeast is monumental,” Modi tweeted.
Expressing grief at Sangma’s demise, his parliamentary colleagues recalled his tenure as Speaker in the 11th Lok Sabha and his affable nature and effervescence, which endeared him to many. “He was a very effective and successful Speaker. It was a shocking news because he was quite fit… The country has lost a great person who was a champion of the Northeast’s cause,” NCP chief Sharad Pawar said. Sangma was the co-founder of the NCP.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi recalled Sangma’s contributions as a public representative, Union minister, CM, and Speaker of Lok sabha and said the nation had lost a tall leader and the Northeast an important voice.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said Sangma, as Speaker, earned the respect of all political parties and leaders by his exemplary conduct and non-partisan behaviour. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, too, expressed his condolences.
Calling Sangma a “good friend and a great human being”, Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “The work he has done as Speaker will be remembered by the country and Parliament.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, “It’s deeply saddening and shocking… because he was in the House till two days ago…He was somebody who was universally liked. Our prayers go out to him and his family. India has lost an important leader from the Northeast. Somebody who was CM at the age of 41,” the MP said.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Sangma was a veteran parliamentarian and a “true nationalist”. Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was Railway Minister when Sangma was Speaker, said the latter was not only a tribal leader and “tallest” leader in Northeast but a national figure. The CMs of Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh also expressed grief over Sangma’s demise.