Goa CM Manohar Parrikar Dies At 63

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PANAJI — Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar died at his private residence near here on Sunday. He was 63.

A four-term chief minister and former defence minister, Parrikar had been battling a pancreatic ailment since February last year.

The BJP stalwart’s health, which has been fluctuating for over a year, took a turn for the worse in the past two days. 

Sources said Parrikar was put on life support system late Saturday night.

“The chief minister died around 6.40 pm Sunday,” a senior state government official told PTI.

Parrikar is survived by his two sons and their families.

Parrikar, who rose from a pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become the country’s Defence Minister and also chief minister of Goa, enjoyed a man-next-door image in the politically-volatile coastal state.

He was a leader who enjoyed acceptance from all sections of the BJP and beyond. He played a key role in making the BJP a force to reckon with in Goa, which remained for long a Congress bastion, with regional outfits having pockets of influence.

Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle class family, his political career began as an RSS pracharak and he continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay as a metallurgical engineer.

Parrikar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency.

He was the defence minister from November 2014 to March 2017.

The central government has announced national mourning on Monday.

In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kovind said, “Extremely sorry to hear of the passing of Shri Manohar Parrikar, chief minister of Goa, after an illness borne with fortitude and dignity.

“An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, his service to the people of Goa and India will not be forgotten,” the President tweeted from his official handle.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Shri Manohar Parrikar was an unparalleled leader. A true patriot and exceptional administrator, he was admired by all. His impeccable service to the nation will be remembered by generations. Deeply saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti.” 

“Shri Manohar Parrikar was the builder of modern Goa. Thanks to his affable personality and accessible nature, he remained the preferred leader of the state for years. His pro-people policies ensured Goa scales remarkable heights of progress.

“India will be eternally grateful to Shri Manohar Parrikar for his tenure as our Defence Minister. When he was RM, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India’s security capacities, boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen,” Modi said in a series of tweets.

BJP president Amit Shah tweeted, “Manohar Parrikar ji’s demise is extremely painful. In him, the nation has lost a true patriot who selflessly dedicated his entire life to the country and ideology. Parrikar jis commitment towards his people and duties was exemplary.” 

Despite his falling health, Parrikar had presented two state budgets in 2018 and 2019 and had attended public functions, including the inauguration of an iconic bridge across River Mandovi.

Several political leaders, including Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik, Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant and Lok Sabha MP Narendra Sawaikar, started arriving at the private residence of Parrikar in Dona Paula after the news of his demise broke.

Manohar Parrikar: BJP”s crisis man in Goa

Manohar Parrikar, who rose from a pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become the country’s Defence Minister and also chief minister of Goa, enjoyed a man-next-door image in the politically-volatile coastal state.

Parrikar, 63, served the state four times as chief minister and had a three-year-long stint as Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi-led cabinet.

He was a leader who enjoyed acceptance from all sections of the BJP and beyond. He played a key role in making the BJP a force to reckon with in Goa, which remained for long a Congress bastion, with regional outfits having pockets of influence.

Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle class family, his political career began as an RSS pracharak and he continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay as a metallurgical engineer.

Parrikar never shied away from displaying his affiliation to the Sangh and was even photographed participating in the annual ‘Sanchalan’ organised by the RSS in the uniform and wielding lathi.

He even credited the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during his tenure as Defence Minister to the teachings of the RSS.

His plunge into BJP politics is considered as an attempt by the party to curb the growth of the state’s oldest regional political party Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).

Parrikar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency.

He was leader of the Opposition from June to November 1999 and was known for his speeches against the then Congress-led government.

He became chief minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000, but his tenure lasted only until February 27, 2002. On June 5, 2002, he was re-elected and served another term as chief minister.

On January 29, 2005, his government was reduced to a minority in the assembly after four BJP MLAs resigned from the House.

Pratapsinh Rane of the Congress subsequently replaced Parrikar as chief minister. In 2007, the Parrikar-led BJP was defeated by the Congress led by Digambar Kamat.

But the year 2012 saw Parrikar riding a popularity wave in the state when he took his party to the historic number of 21 out of 40 seats in the assembly.

He went on to become the chief minister again. BJP continued its victory mark in the year 2014 when the party won both the Lok Sabha seats.

After the Modi-led Cabinet was sworn at the Centre, Parrikar was offered a ministerial berth in November 2014. He remained in the union cabinet till 2017 when his party failed to garner a majority in the Goa legislative assembly polls.

He returned to the state in March 2017 when he managed to woo alliance partners such as Goa Forward Party and MGP to support him to form the government.

His health started deteriorating in February 2018 and he was first admitted at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital for pancreatic ailment. He was flown to the US in the first week of March last year where he remained admitted at hospital till June.

Parrikar attended the monsoon session of Assembly from July 19 to August 3, and left for the USA on August 10 for the second round of checkup. He returned to Goa on August 22, 2018.

After being treated at a makeshift medical facility at his residence, Parrikar was shifted to the AIIMS New Delhi on September 15 last year.

After almost a month-long treatment, he returned to Goa on October 14.

Parrikar stunned everyone when he reached the CM’s office on January 2 this year after a gap of almost two-and-a-half months.

On January 27, he attended the inauguration of the third bridge on Mandovi river along with Union minister Nitin Gadkari.

He also attended the budget session on January 29 and presented the state Budget the next day. On the last day of the session on January 31, he was taken for treatment to AIIMS, New Delhi and returned to Goa on February 5.

Parrikar also addressed the Atal Booth Karyakarta Sammelan on February 9, 2019 in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah.

During the last few days, Parrikar had been in and out of Goa Medical College and Hospital for treatment, but was mostly confined to his private residence.


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