04/03/2016 11:42 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma Passes Away

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
'NEW DELHI, INDIA - JULY 22: P.A. Sangma during the press conference after the result was announced. For Presidential Election, at his House on July 22, 2012 in New Delhi, India. He also Congratulating Pranab Mukherjee for winning the presidential poll. Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times '

NEW DELHI -- Former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma breathed his last here on Friday following a heart attack.

Sangma, who unsuccessfully contested the presidential election as an opposition candidate against Pranab Mukherjee, was 68 years old.

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 8 March as a tribute to former Sangma.

The former Meghalaya chief minister was elected to the Lok Sabha eight times since his first entry to the Lower House in 1977. He was the Lok Sabha Speaker between 1996 and 1998.

Sangma was expelled from the Congress in 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar for raising a banner of revolt against Sonia Gandhi over her foreign origin issue. Subsequently, the trio formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

However, he left the NCP in 2004 and formed a regional party, which later merged with Trinamool Congress. He later rejoined the NCP, but only to part ways with it later and unsuccessfully contested the presidential election against Pranab Mukherjee. He was supported by BJP, BJD, AIADMK and others.

"We deeply mourn the passing away of PA Sangma ji, I had learnt how to run Lok Sabha with a smile from him," Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said.

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