Purno Agitok Sangma was born in 1947 in the West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1977 and became the joint secretary of the All India Congress Committee in 1980, before he was inducted into the Union Cabinet. He has held various portfolios during his illustrious career as a parliamentarian. He also became the chief minister of Meghalaya in 1988. Following the general elections in 1996, he was unanimously elected the Speaker of the eleventh Lok Sabha, thus becoming the first member from the Opposition to hold the office of the Speaker.
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