Speaker, XI Lok Sabha
CONGRESS (I) - TURA( MEGHALAYA)
Born in September 1947 at Village Chapahati in the West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya in the North East of India. Hails from the small tribal Christian minority community of Garos, who constitute slightly over half a million in India's total population of 960 million.
Married to Soradini of his own community and has four children-two sons and two daughters. The elder son, James, is doing Honours in English language at Delhi. The eldest daughter, Christie, is a student of Architecture at Bombay. The second son, Conrad, is in the Wharton School of Business Administration in USA. The second daughter Agatha, is doing "O Level" at Delhi.
Did his Honours and Masters with International Relations as special subject, apart from Law (B.A. Hons, M.A. and LL.B) at Dibrugarh University, Assam.
Worked as a lecturer and taught constitutional law. He was also a Lawyer and a Journalist.
Started his career as a Congress (I) Party worker. Having been General Secretary and Vice President of the Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress during 1973-76, was General Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee from 1975 to 1980. He was associated with the building up of the Congress in Meghalaya and the merger of the All Party Hill Leaders' Conference with the Congress. Became Joint Secretary of the All India Congress Committee in 1980.
Was elected to the Lok Sabha (the House of the People) five times- in 1977, 1980, 1984, 1991 and 1996. Since 1977, he has been Member of Parliament for 17 years.
For 13 out of these 17 years, he held Ministerial positions in the Government of India as -
For the three years from 1988 to 1991, when Mr. Sangma was not in the Government of India, he was in the politics of the State of Meghalaya and held position as -
Speaker, Lok Sabha (House of the People) since 1996
In the history of Lok Sabha, Mr. Sangma has been-
The first to be unanimously elected as Speaker, with universal support cutting across all political parties.
The first from the Opposition to hold the Office of Speaker.
The youngest Speaker.
As Parliamentarian, Mr. Sangma, by virtue of interest as well as office was active in several committees. He was Member, Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Member, Committee on Communications, Member, Committee on Government Assurances and Chairman of the Parliamentary Consultative Committees on Labour, Coal and Communication.
As Speaker, guided formation of a Standing Joint Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women,
-guided constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee for considering 81st Constitutional Amendment which seeks to enhance the presence of women in the Parliament and
-created a Group of Parliamentarians to report on Ethics and Standards in Public Life.
As Speaker, he is also Chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Council and Chairman, Institute of Parliamentary and Constitutional Studies and
President of the National Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
Led the Indian Parliamentary delegation to the 42nd CPA Conference at Kuala Lumpur in August 1996.
Led the Indian Parliamentary delegation to the 96th IPU Conference at Beijing in September, 1996.
Hosted and chaired the Specialised Inter-Parliamentary Conference of the IPU on Partnership between Men and Women in Politics in February 1997.
Led bilateral Parliamentary delegations since September 1996 to Australia, Croatia, DPR Korea, Finland, Norway, Russian Federation , Saudi Arabia, Sweden and United Kingdom.
During his uninterrupted political career of over two decades, with diversified experience at the Central and State (Provincial) levels and in varied and important portfolios, Mr. Sangma is reputed and recognised in India for several of his policy initiatives. Important among these initiatives are -
As Industry Minister
As Coal Minister
As Commerce Minister
As Labour Minister
In particular -
As Information & Broadcasting Minister
As Minister in charge of several portfolios in the Government of India and as Parliamentarian, over the years, he travelled extensively to all the important countries of the world in East Asia, South East Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia, apart from USA.
Journalistic and Literary Work
Has been connected with social organisations like the Red Cross and the Night School for indigent children in his constituency.
Distinctions and Awards