Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma penned his last letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh recommending an Arjuna award for India's iconic woman footballer Oinam Bembem Devi.
Sangma dashed off the letter to Singh on 3 March, one day before a fatal heart attack in Delhi.
"He had recommended her (Bembem) name for the Arjuna award. I remember he told me that this Manipuri woman deserved the Arjuna award as she brought laurels to India on several occasions," Sangma's close aide A. Rehman revealed at the departed leader's residence in Walbakgre area here in Meghalaya.
"I remember he directed me to deliver the letter to Singh's office soon after he signed the letter on Thursday," Rehman, who accompanied Sangma's body from New Delhi, recalled.
Bembem had led the Indian team on several occasions and won major events. She retired from international football after the final match between India and Nepal at the 12th South Asian Games held in Shillong last month.
Meanwhile, people from all walks of life continued to throng the sprawling residence of the veteran leader to pay their last respects. The young and old brought candles and flowers to bid adieu to their leader who had been in the political arena for four decades.