Sangma works his way to the top

Lecturer, lawyer and journalist before joining politics

By Karuna Madan

New Delhi: Purno Agitok Sangma, born on September 1, 1947 in the picturesque West Garo Hills district of the state of Meghalaya in northeast East India, grew up in the small tribal village where he realised quite early in life that he would have to struggle hard to rise in life and education was the only way to overall progress. After completing his graduation from St. Anthony’s College, he went to Dibrugarh University in Assam for his master’s degree in International Relations. Subsequently, he obtained a degree in Law.

Sangma was a lecturer, a lawyer and a journalist before he joined politics. He started his political life as a small-time Congress party worker. However, in 1974, he became the General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC). In 1975, he was appointed the General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and held that post till 1980.

Sangma entered the national political scene in 1977 when the country was preparing for the sixth general elections.

Sangma was not only associated with politics but had has close association with various social and educational institutions. He went on to become the Editor of a Meghalaya daily Chandambeni Kalrang. Additionally, he edited two volumes of the book India in ILO.

The General Elections of 1998 once again brought Sangma to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament). He is regarded as one of the most articulate and dignified speakers in the Opposition benches, carefully listened to by all with utmost attention.