PEOPLE’S CM Manohar Parrikar Is No More

MANOHAR Parrikar, four-time Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister, who passed away on March 17, 2019, in his Panaji residence, was laid to rest at Panaji in the presence of countless people  with tearful eyes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National President of BJP, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani and their several colleagues paid him tributes at Goa. He was accorded state funeral as India was observing national mourning on Monday and the coastal state seven-day mourning .He breathed his last after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year at the age of 63.An alumni of Bombay IIT in Metallurgical Engineering, had opted for politics at an young age via RSS.He was respected by all political parties whom President Ram Nath Kovind called epitome of integrity and dedication in public life. He was a true patriot and an exceptional administrator, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was his colleague as NDA government’s   Defence Minister .He was moved to Goa as the BJP could not win an absolute majority in the state legislative assembly in the 2017 assembly poll.  Parrikar’s body was kept at the Panjim BJP head office from 9.30 am to 10.30 am after which his body was taken to Kala Academy in Panaji for public to pay their final respects to the departed chief minister. His last rites were performed at SAG grounds in Campal, approximately 4km from Panaji. He was seen in public outings over the past few months with a nasal tube and a frail form provoking opposition attacks on the ruling BJP. But in January this year, he had famously said that he “will serve Goa till my last breath.”And he did honour his commitment to the people notwithstanding failing health. President Kovind says on Twitter: Really sad to hear of the death of Manohar Parikkar. One of the most dedicated, competent and blunt-speaking leaders in the BJP. We and Goa in particular, will miss him immensely”. The first IITian to become CM of an Indian State, is survived by two sons Utpal , Abhijit and several relations .Medha  Parrikar, his  spouse  passed away of cancer  in 2000 a month  before he was sworn in as CM for his first term. During  his tenure as CM he continued to live in his own house  despite  being eligible for official  bungalow .It is also claimed by his  loyalists  nor did he upgrade  or prefer to use  new car with all  amenities. AS his health was worsening, some months before his death, ten clerics reached the BJP headquarters to read the Koran for him and the state’s Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferao appealed to the Catholic community to pray for him. Such was his pull, till the end, as one of the few BJP leaders known to have secured a secular image. Even then, with all the contradictions, the man with a simple lifestyle, who always took the blessings of his mother and his favourite deity Mahalakshmi he was spotted eating chicken gravy, omelettes off the street. He could remember the name and village of every voter will always remain the state’s most popular political export, recalls The Indian Express. Goans recalls several anecdotes of the CM who led a Spartan life with humility. He was the first Goan Politician who have left imprint in national affairs. From 2014 to 2017 when he was Defence  Minister  he was instrumental  in  introducing  OROP-One Rank One Pension  Scheme for those  who serve  the Indian Army as also  conducting  surgical operation across India’s international  border to teach the abettors  of  terrorists.(Edited by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty)

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