Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar breathed his last on Sunday at around 8.15 pm at his private residence near Panaji, Goa, at the age of 63. His ailment was diagnosed in February 2018 and he had been in and out of hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and even the United States. While there had been no official statement about the condition of his ailment, several Goa ministers had admitted that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer.
READ: Manohar Parrikar, Goa Chief Minister and India’s former defence minister, dies at 63
Born on December 13, 1955, in Goa, Parrikar took oath as the Chief Minister of the state four times. Known for his simple lifestyle, Parrikar would often be seen standing in public queues without the pomp and show generally associated with politicians.
In June 2018, he had made his first public appearance after his return from the US, displaying his resolve to work for the state. In another rare appearance in December, he was seen inspecting a half-constructed bridge on Mandovi river in Goa with a food pipe attached to his nose.
His video from an event where he asked ‘How is the josh’, a dialogue which had become famous from the movie Uri: The Surgical Strike, had seen the crowd erupt into thunderous applause. Parrikar serving as the Chief Minister despite his ailing condition had also been a matter of severe criticism by the rival parties who had been alleging that he is doing harm to the state by holding on to the top post despite his ill-health.
However, he silently kept up his josh, held meetings from hospitals and his home and kept the government going.
He first came to power in Goa in October 2000 after the BJP withdrew support to Francisco Sardinha government pushing the 11-month-old government into a minority.
In February 2002, Parikkar resigned as the CM and called for fresh elections. He came back to power and took oath in 2002 and served till 2005.
After the BJP’s victory in the 2012 Assembly elections, he was entrusted with the post yet again. However, when the saffron party won the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he was elevated to the national level. He quit as the CM handing over the baton to Laxmikant Parsekar and took charge of the Defence Ministry. But his stint at the Centre ended in just two years.
In the 2017 Goa assembly elections, the Congress emerged as the single-largest party but the BJP managed the support of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Independents to secure the magic figure of 21 in the 40-member house. The allies though were keen to have Parrikar back. The Goa Forward Party said that it would agree to the give support to the coalition government only if Parrikar is named the Chief Minister.
The BJP then asked Parrikar to move back to his home state to lead the state government.
A highly acclaimed leader, Parrikar was the first engineer of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) to have become an MLA. He was trained in metallurgical engineering. Before joining the BJP, he had had a close association with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, where he served on many posts.
He is credited with bringing the well-acclaimed International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to Goa. Known by many as a ‘man of ethics’, he worked towards the accomplishment of better infrastructural works like the construction of major bridges bus stands, road network and district hospitals across the state.