Purno A Sangma BiographyGeneral Knowledge »
Former Speaker of Lok Sabha P.A. Sangma
From the 49 Year old Indian Parliamentary understanding, the Eleventh Lok Sabha collectively elected a member from the Opposition, as the Speaker, P.A. Sangma, an Indian Politician and Co – founder of Nationalist Congress Party, in a noteworthy departure. P.A. Sangma heightened to the elevated office of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from a menial beginning in a small tribal village in Meghalaya.
P.A. Sangma fetched this sharpened post by sheer dint of his merit, strength of mind and industry. Jovial, friendly and more often Unceremonious in character with a Spontaneous Sense of Wit and Humor, yet he is unyielding when it came to ensuring orderly conduct of the House. With charming Personality, Speaker Sangma won him abundant cooperation from all shades of political opinion represented in the Lok Sabha. Along with thorough impartiality, his search for maintaining Decorum, Dignity and Autonomy of the House, earned him Admiration Nationwide.
P.A. Sangma Early Life and Education
Purno Agitok Sangma, a dignified person was born on 1 September 1947 in village Chapahati in the pictorial West Garo Hills District of the State of Meghalaya in North East India. From the very early life young Sangma substantiated that to rise in life he would have to struggle hard as he has grown up in the small tribal village. It is his mother who left a peachy inspiration in him. She instilled in him the values of Diligence, Humility and Honesty through which he learnt that Education was the only way to Progress in life.
P. A Sangma went to Dibrugarh University in Assam for his Masters degree in International Relations, after finishing his graduation from St. Anthony’s College. Afterward, he also incurred a degree in Law. A man of many parts, P.A. Sangma in the course of his career, is having been, a Lecturer, a Lawyer and a Journalist before he joined Politics.
P.A. Sangma Political Career
P.A.Sangma’s political life commenced as a worker of the Congress Party and his rise has been phenomenal through the ranks of the Party. In the year 1974, when P.A. Sangma became the General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress at the same time he also stayed on its Vice – President. P.A. Sangma was appointed the General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee in 1975, in recognition of his dedication to the party’s ideals.
P.A. Sangma’s emergence to the National Political Scenario occurred when the country was preparing for the Sixth General Elections in 1977. From the Tura constituency in his home State, P.A. Sangma was elected to the Lok Sabha on the Congress Ticket. By that time the Nation was going through a major Political alteration with the Congress Party losing power at the Center for the first time since Independence. The 30 Year old P.A. Sangma inscribed the entrance ways of Parliament at that juncture. It was indeed an opportune moment for a promising parliamentarian to make his mark and the coherent P.A. Sangma made full use of the opportunity to make an impact as a Sincere and Hard – Working member.
National politics in less than two years came a full turn and the Janata Party went out of office. The Charan Singh Government lasted for a few months, which unspecified office subsequently. Indira Gandhi led Congress Party returned to power at the Center in the Mid – Term elections of 1980. And from the same constituency P.A. Sangma was re – elected to the Lok Sabha.
P.A. Sangma moved up fast in the party organization too. In 1980, P.A. Sangma became the Joint Secretary of the All India Congress Committee. P.A. Sangma held that position before he was inducted into the Union Cabinet and acquired the office of the Deputy Minister in charge of Industry in November 1980.
As Deputy Minister he shifted to the Ministry of Commerce after two years, and held that post till December 1984. P.A. Sangma’s return to the Eighth Lok Sabha was made through the General Elections of 1984. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, in recognizing his prospective and devotion to the Congress ideals, inducted him into his Cabinet. This time P.A. Sangma joined the Cabinet as a Minister of State holding charge of Commerce and Supply.
P.A. Sangma also functioned as the Minister of State for Home Affairs for a short while. P.A. Sangma took over the Independent Charge of the Minister of State for Labour in October 1986. P.A. Sangma, open to reason and mollifying in Attitude, was unbending when it came to defending the fundamentals of national interests. During his tenure as the Labour Minister, it was no wonder then that there was a sharp decline in industrial strikes and lockouts. Complete supremacy of the subject at hand also known for his meticulous homework. With phenomenally long memory for facts and details, P.A. Sangma was one Minister who could reply to an excited debate in Parliament without the aid of officials slips from the Officers Gallery.
P.A. Sangma’s thorough knowledge of the functioning of his Ministry, Sociability and a unique sense of humor enabled him to tackle all challenges in Parliament. Particularly, the Question Hour brought out the best in him, handling the most ticklish matters with consummate ease. P.A. Sangma retained the image of an Honest and Conscientious executive throughout his Ministerial tenure, and always guided clear of any controversy.
P.A. Sangma is a man who had a noteworthy apprehension, particularly of his home State, of the Political Realities of the entire North East. From 1977, he was in Delhi and busy in national politics, though, he never cut himself off from his roots and always kept track of political developments back home. It was this thorough understanding which made the Congress Party leadership to demand his services for Meghalaya in 1988, of the State politics.
P.A. Sangma returned to Meghalaya politics, that year, as the Chief Minister. In a turbulent period in the State’s political history, P.A. Sangma headed a 48 member Coalition Government. In 1990, following the resignation of his Government, P.A Sangma became the Leader of the Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly. But P.A. Sangma was called of the nation, which brought P.A. Sangma back to the Center soon. In 1991, he returned to the Lok Sabha following the General Elections and this time by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, he was inducted into the Union Cabinet. The Independent Charge of the Ministry of Coal was given to P.A. Sangma. He was given the additional Responsibility of assisting the Prime Minister in February 1992, in the Ministry of Labour.
P.A. Sangma’s principal challenge in the context of the Economic Reforms and Liberalization Policy announced by the Union Government was to sell the idea of economic reforms to an impatient and frightened labor force. P.A. Sangma with Tireless presiding made tenacious efforts at convincing the labor of the inevitability of economic reforms, over tri – partite Industrial Committee meetings.
P.A Sangma with his Organizational Skills felt the need for a new Management and Work Culture. Generation of wealth through Efficiency, Productivity and Modernization and Sharing of Wealth Equitably will be the hallmark of it. In January 1993, Sangma accepted the Independent. Charge of the Ministry of Labor. In February 1995, P.A. Sangma was brought up to the Cabinet rank as the first tribal to be elevated as such in the Ministry of Labor. P.A. Sangma presided the Tripartite Indian Delegation to the International Labor Conference in Geneva six times s the Union Labor Minister. In the conferences he proved his spirit over and over again. During 1994 – 1995, P.A. Sangma was also voted as the Chairman of the Asia and Pacific Region for the International Labor Ministers Conference.
A disturbance was raised when foreign capitalists had just started preferring India as their destination, in some quarters to the so – called ‘Social Clause’ issue. In that time P.A. Sangma, organised a Conference of Labour Ministers from Non – aligned and other Developing Countries, as Labor Minister, in 1994 – 1995. In order to hold the position, he brought about harmony amongst them. P.A. Sangma stressed that the Influence of International Trade should not be used in respect of social issues like labor standards, as that would be powerful. Sangma took over as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, in September 1995. Till the General Elections to the Eleventh Lok Sabha he held the post.
P.A. Sangma, by virtue of his Interest as a Parliamentarian, as well as the offices he held, was active in several Committees. P.A. Sangma has been served as a member of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Committee on Communications and Committee on Government Assurances and Chairman of the Parliamentary Consultative Committees on Labour, Coal and Communications. For the fifth time, in the 1996, P.A. Sangma was nominated to the Lok Sabha from the Tura constituency General Elections. On 23 May 1996, unanimously P.A.Sangma was elected the Speaker of the Eleventh Lok Sabha with total support cutting across all political parties. P.A. Sangma was the first member from the Opposition, in half a century of Indian parliamentary history, to hold the office of the Speaker.
P.A. Sangma, without a doubt, had the entire Testimonial for the August Office Legal Training, Long Experience as a Parliamentarian as well as a Minister, Standing for Impartiality, Transparency, Humility and Wit and Wisdom. P.A. Sangma accomplished his task with such flair and Assurance, from the time he assumed the office of the Speaker, it seemed that expertise of the job came to him automatically.
P.A. Sangma was known for having a unique approach to parliamentary reforms. As a Speaker, the members even in the midst of stormy debates observed rules ensured by him. P.A. Sangma Observed, Parliamentary Democracy, Meant Free Debate, Objective Discussions and Healthy Criticism. It is the Speakers job to ensure that these objectives were accomplished.
P.A Sangma was the one who went beyond accommodating the balance between the Treasury and the Opposition benches in order to holding the balance of every individual member. Both the ruling Coalition and the Opposition admire Speaker P.A. Sangma. P.A. Sangma managed to fetch such admiration within a short span of time. A tremendous sense of timing and history has also been displayed when he took commendable initiatives towards alleviating greater partnership between men and women in politics and in accentuating the importance of ethics and honesty in public life.
With this in view, he guided the formation of a Standing Joint Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women, during his Speaker ship, and also the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee for conceiving the Constitution ( Eighty – first Amendment ) Bill, 1996 which required to provide for 33 – 1 / 3 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies.
P.A. Sangma believed, in order to uphold high traditions in parliamentary life, members of Parliament were required to maintain standards of conduct, both inside the House and outside. One of the considered views of him was of that the ethical value that ought to Saturate the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial Wings of the Constitutional System had a deep and lasting impact on the Character, Direction, Credibility and Future of Democratic Governance. An 8 – member Study Group of the Committee of Privileges was constituted during P.A. Sangma’s tenure as Speaker, in a move, which won panegyrics from all quarters. The committee was formed in order to report on Ethics and Standards in Public Life.
The Committee of Privileges considered report of The Study Group. And then adopted with some rectifications. To the Twelfth Lok Sabha the report was later presented.
From 26 August to 1 September 1997, Speaker P.A. Sangma took another major commencement. It was the convoking as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of India’s Independence of a Special Session of both the Houses of Parliament. The Session for the future set a National Agenda and took stock of the achievements. In the Indian parliamentary history, opening the Special Session, for the first time the Speaker addressed the House and emphasized the need for a second freedom struggle – “freedom from our own internal contradictions, between our prosperity and poverty, between the plenty of our resource endowments and the scarcity of their prudent management, between peace and tolerance and the current conduct sliding towards violence, intolerance and discrimination”.
P.A. Sangma led the Indian Parliamentary Delegations to the 42nd and 43rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conferences as Speaker, in Kuala Lumpur in August 1996, and in Port Louis in September 1997, respectively. P.A. Sangma also led the Indian Parliamentary Delegations to the 96th Inter – Parliamentary Union Conference in Beijing in September 1996 and the 98th Conference in Cairo in September 1997, the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to the Second Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians held in Islamabad in October 1997.
In February 1997, he chaired the Inter-Parliamentary Specialized Conference of the IPU on “Towards Partnership between Men and Women in Politics” hosted by the Indian Parliament in New Delhi. During his eventful tenure, the first ever Conference of the Chairmen and Members of the Public Accounts Committees of SAARC Parliaments was also held in New Delhi in August 1997.
P.A. Sangma as an exceptionally popular Presiding Officer has been appreciated for his knowledge of rules and even more than for his intrinsic understanding of parliamentary traditions. Outside the House P.A. Sangma was equally at his best. P.A. Sangma took part in many social gatherings and rational interactions coordinated by activist groups with great exuberance, guided objective and non-partisan argumentations on national issues and added a new social and public dimension to the office of the Speaker.
With various social organizations and educational institutions, Sangma has been closely associated. P.A. Sangma was the Editor of a Meghalaya daily, ‘Chandambeni Kalrang’. P.A. Sangma has also edited two volumes of the book ‘India in ILO’. The ‘Michael John Roll of Honour’ of the Tata Workers Union was conferred to Sangma for “Distinguished Contribution to the Cause of Labour and to the Parliamentary System” in March 1997. From the President of India, he also received in May 1997 the `Golden jubilee Award of the Indian National Trade Union Congress ( INTUC )` for owing contribution to the cause of the working class.
This multi-faceted personality concerned for decorum, freedom and dignity of the House for, which P.A. Sangma, earned him the status of an outstanding parliamentarian. As a Speaker, however, what, made P.A. Sangma up to standard to political parties of all shades, was only his aptitude to earn the confidence of people on both sides of the House. P.A. Sangma was endeared to the masses because of his steadfast concerns for the disadvantaged and his tireless accomplishments to exterminate poverty and remove Socio – Economic inequalities. Without a doubt, P.A. Sangma is a man of the masses with an international standing. P.A. Sangma left an indelible impress of his personality in a short span of less than two years, on the office of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. His tenure as Speaker in the media too, was highly appreciated. P.A. Sangma later merged his faction with Mamta Bannerjee`s Trinamool Congress, forming the Nationalist Trinamool Congress after losing a battle for the NCP election symbol,.
The Lok Sabha once again with the General Elections of 1998 saw P.A. Sangma returning to and presently, he is one of the most communicative and venerable speakers in the Opposition benches, listened to by all with respect and attention
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