Born in 1951 at Mechuka, 69-year-old Pasang W Sona got elected to the second legislative assembly of Arunachal Pradesh in January 1980 and became its deputy speaker Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: Former minister and veteran politician Pasang Wangchuk Sona breathed his last after prolonged illness at his hometown Mechuka of Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi-Yomi district on Friday.

Born in 1951 at Mechuka, 69-year-old Sona got elected to the second legislative assembly of Arunachal Pradesh in January 1980 and became its deputy speaker.

During his second stint as MLA in 1990, he held an important post of a deputy chairman of the state planning board and after being elected for third time from the 33rd Mechuka constituency in 1995, he served the state as minister for mines and minerals and food and civil supplies.

Being an intellectual, he led the society through various other social posts such as treasurer of All Arunachal Pradesh Buddhist Society, chairman of Mechuka Buddhist Society and Library Committee etc.

Sona, who was the father of incumbent legislative assembly Speaker Pasang D Sona, graduated from St Edmund’s College, Shillong, at a time when his native place was considered as one of the remotest places without even road communication.

He began his political career as a student leader and held the post of the president of Mechuka Student’s Union during 1965-67.

Sona is survived by his three sons, one daughter and grandchildren.

Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra and chief minister Pema Khandu have expressed grief on the death of the former minister. In his condolence message to his son, the governor said that Sona was an eminent social activist, who made immense contribution towards socio-economic development of the people and state in various capacities, during his long and distinguished political career.

“He was a public figure of distinction, a visionary and the pioneer of democratic values in Arunachal Pradesh,” Mishra said.

“In this hour of crisis, I join the people of the state to pray to the Almighty to give you and other members of the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. I also pray for eternal peace of the departed soul,” the governor said in his message.

Chief minister Pema Khandu in his condolence message to P D Sona said: “With extreme grief, I write to share the pain of losing a prominent personality of political history of Arunachal Pradesh, a first generation leader Late Pasang Wangchuk Sona. In his demise, our state has lost a first generation leader who led from the front.”

Sona’s work for the downtrodden and needy will always be remembered. I believe leaving this mortal world will not diminish the love and affection showered on him by the people. The good soul will remain immortal, Khandu said.

The state unit of National People’s Party (NPP) also joined the rest in mourning the demise of the veteran leader. “Late Sona was a visionary leader who contributed a lot for the all round development of the state. His untimely demise is a great loss not only for the state but also for the country. He will always be remembered,” state NPP vice president Nima Sangey Saling said in a statement.

The Adi Bane Kebang (ABK) also extended its condolences. “In the demise of Late Sona, we have lost a premier leader and fatherly figure of the newly created Shi-Yomi district. His demise is an irreparable lost for the people of the district, especially for the Memba community. He was a great leader, man of principle and loved by all,” the ABK said in its statement on Friday.

The staff of the state legislative assembly led by secretary Kago Habung have also mourned the passing away of Sona.

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