Thousands of people from different walks of life paid their last respects to former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma as his body was brought to his hometown here in western part of Meghalaya ahead of his state funeral on Monday.
As the casket containing Sangma’s body, a former Meghalaya chief minister, reached Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills, a large number of people linedAup on both sides of the road to have a final glimpse of their leader.
The mortal remains of Sangma were brought to Tura from Assam’s Guwahati International Airport in a MI-17 helicopter after being flown there from Delhi in a special Indian Air Force aircraft.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Development of North Eastern Region Minister Jitendra Singh, former union water resources minister Vincent Pala along with Sangma’s family members accompanied the casket from New Delhi.
Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan later accompanied the mortal remains of Sangma from Guwahati to Sangma’s residence at Walbakgre.
Sangma’s residence at Walbakgre became a sea of humanity as thousands of people from all walks of life had gathered there. A brief meeting was conducted at the residence where the visiting dignitaries paid homage to departed leader.
Paying his tributes, Shanmuganathan said Sangma was the embodiment of the best qualities of a politician and likened his towering personality to that of the Himalayas.
Jitendra Singh said Sangma was an "iconic figure" and a "role model" for all of them in the parliament. "Ever since I became DoNER minister I have been in touch with Sangmaji seeking his guidance on how to initiate developmental works in northeast," he said
Rijiju, who had come down to Tura to pay the last tributes on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, referred to Sangma as the first political face of North East.
"We have learned a lot from PA Sangma saheb. Cutting across political ideologies, he gave ideas for development of northeast and always worked for the people. We have not forgotten his ideas; we will always work to fulfill his unfinished tasks," he said.