New Delhi: Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar passed awayat his son’s residence in Panaji on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 63. The announcement was made in a tweet by President Ram Nath Kovind. “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 of India will not be forgotten,” Kovind wrote on his official Twitter handle.

“The chief minister passed away around 6.40 pm Sunday,” a senior state government official told PTI.  Sources said Parrikar had been on life support system since late Saturday night. The BJP stalwart’s health, which has been fluctuating for over a year, took a turn for the worse in the past two days. Parrikar had been in and out of hospital in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York since February 2018.

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.

Earlier this year, the former Defence Minister left everyone stunned when he reached the CM’s office 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. Last month, he was rushed to the Goa Medical College and Hospital near Panaji.

National mourning declared, state funeral to be accorder

Following his demise, the government announced national mourning on Monday. A Home Ministry spokesperson said the national flag will fly at half-mast in the national capital, the union territories and the state capitals.
Besides, state funeral will also be accorded to the BJP stalwart, which is scheduled to take place at around 4:30 PM.

The Goa government has also declared a one-day holiday on Monday and a seven-day mourning period.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet has also been called at 10 AM today to condole the demise of the late Goa CM. Speaking to news agency PTI, official sources said,”A two-minute silence would be observed in his memory and a resolution would also be passed hailing Parrikar’s contribution as a public figure. Whenever a senior leader of any political party, or a minister passes, the Union Cabinet meets to condole the demise.”

Program plan of Parrikar’s final journey

Between 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM: Manohar Parrikar’s mortal remains to be kept at the BJP head office, Panjim, Goa.

10:30 AM: Manohar Parrikar’s mortal remains to be taken to Kala Academy, Panjim.

11:00 AM to 04:00 PM: Public will pay their final respects to their CM.

04:00 PM: Funeral procession of Manohar Parrikar to Miramar

04:30 PM: Vidhi (Rituals ) at Miramar, Panaji.

05:00 PM: Antim Kriya of Manohar Parrikar

Tributes pour in 

As soon his death was announced this evening, political leaders from across party lines expressed their grief.

Paying tribute to Parrikar, PM 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.”

He added,”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 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.”

Remembering the former Defence Minister, Union Minister Rajnath Singh said,”Deeply saddened and pained by the demise of my dear friend & Chief Minister of Goa, #ManoharParrikar. He was known for his honesty, integrity and simplicity. He served the nation and the state of Goa with great diligence. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.”

“Shri Manohar Parrikar is no more. A sincere, honest & sensitive political activist. Was simple and down to earth, I learnt a lot from Shri.Parrikar. As Raksha Mantri his contribution to making the armed forces a modernised, lean & mean fighting machine will remain unparalleled, tweeted Defence Minister Nirmala Sithraman.

“Extremely saddened by the untimely demise of my good friend Manohar Parrikar ji. An epitome of impeccable integrity, a down to earth personality, the first IITian to become CM of a state, great son of India gone too soon… RIP my dear friend…,” Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Goa CM, Shri Manohar Parrikar Ji, who bravely battled a debilitating illness for over a year. Respected and admired across party lines, he was one of Goa’s favourite sons. My condolences to his family in this time of grief,” tweeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, “My condolences to the bereaved family of Shri. Manohar Parrikar. I met him only once, when he graciously visited my mother at the hospital two years ago. May his soul rest in peace.”

“He (Goa CM Manohar Parrikar) was a good human being. His passing away has left a huge gap in politics; we have lost a good politician. His demise has caused us immense grief. I express my grief and I pay my tributes on behalf of my party and myself,” said Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

Parrikar’s political life at glance: 

Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle class family, Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar’s 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 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.