Love them or hate them but you simply cannot ignore the politicians of this country. As one of the largest democracies in the world, India surely boasts of thousands of politicians – some good and some not-so-good! Politics invades every aspect of our life and it is these politicians who finally decide the course of India’s growth. According to the federal structure that India follows, we have politicians in power both at the Centre and the states. Parliamentarians are those politicians who are representatives of the people (directly or indirectly) to the Parliament of India. North East India has given the country its fair share of illustrious parliamentarians. Let us take a look at some of them.
The longest serving chief minister of Assam has also represented the state in Parliament several times. He became a Member of Parliament for the first time in 1971 and continued as a member of the Upper House till 1985. He represented Jorhat during that period. Later he also served as an MP from 1991-96 and 1998-2002 from Koliabor.
Purno Agitok Sangma was one of the most illustrious MPs from Northeast. He is also the only Parliamentarian from the region to have served as the Speaker of Lok Sabha (from 1996-1998). He first represented Tura constituency in Lok Sabha in 1977 and was re-elected on numerous occasions. As a speaker he is remembered as a jovial and smiling Parliamentarian.
George Gilbert Swell was another illustrious politician from the state of Meghalaya. Swell first became a Member of Parliament in 1962 from the Autonomous Districts Lok Sabha constituency. He continued his winning streak for the next two terms. He returned to Lok Sabha again in 1984, this time as Member of Parliament from Shillong constituency. He was the deputy speaker in LS during 1969-1970 and again between 1971 and 1977. Swell is considered one of the fierce leaders to have championed for a separate state of Meghalaya.
Baju Ban Riyan
A doctor by profession, C Silvera was first elected in the Upper House of Parliament in 1984 and continued there till 1990 representing Mizoram. As a Congress leader he then got himself elected for Lok Sabha in the 9th Lok Sabha, 10th Lok Sabha and the 11th Lok Sabha. He is the first and only Mizo to have served as a minister in the Union Government. He was the Minister of State for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 1994 and later he was appointed the Minister of State for Industry.
Prem Das Rai
Prem Das Rai is a MP from Sikkim Democratic Front. He has scripted history as being the first Member of Parliament to have degrees from both the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM). He became a Lok Sabha MP in 2009.
Senayangba Chubatoshi Jamir was the longest serving chief minister of Nagaland. He was also the first Naga leader to get elected in the Lok Sabha (1961 – 1970). During his tenure in the Lower House, he held several ministerial positions, including Union Deputy Minister of Railways, Labour & Rehabilitation, Union Deputy Minister of Community Development & Cooperation, Food and Agriculture. During Jawaharlal Nehru’s tenure he was also a Parliamentary Secretary. Currently he is Governor of Odisha.
Kiren Rijiju is the current Union Minister of State for Home Affairs. He hails from Arunachal Pradesh and is considered one of the prominent faces of the eastern most state of the country. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket representing Arunachal West constituency.
Rishang Keishing represented Manipur in the Upper House of the Parliament representing Manipur. He has also served as the chief minister of Manipur from 1980 to 1988 and 1994 to 1997. Keishing is known to be the oldest serving parliamentarian in the world and retired from office in 2014 at the age of 94.
Bijoy Krishna Handique
Bijoy Krishna Handique had graced both the houses of Parliament and represented Assam under the Indian National Congress ticket. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1986 and a member of the Lok Sabha from 1991 to 2009.