Goa Chief Minister and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar died at his Panaji residence on Sunday evening just over a year after he was detected with cancer. He was 63
Centre announced national mourning on March 18 and seven days mourning in Goa.
Diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in February last year, Parikkar had been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York since. Served as Goa’s chief minister four times and had a three-year-long stint as Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi-led cabinet.
Meanwhile, from an IIT graduate in metallurgical engineering to rising to be a clean image politician, Parikkar left an indelible mark as a politician in Goa. 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. Parikkar had a reputation for integrity.
An intense RSS follower which he joined in as young as 26. Parrikar was the first to propose the name of Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate before the 2013 BJP parliamentary elections convention in Goa, later he served in the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Defence Minister of India from 2014 to 2017 His stint as defence minister was defined by surgical strikes. He gave the Army free hand to pro-actively dominate the Line of Control after the URI attack.
It was under his watch that the UPA government’s $20 million deal to acquire 126 Rafael fighter aircraft was termed as “economically unviable” and Parikkar voiced out that 36 aircraft were sufficient to meet the requirement.
President and Prime Minister condoled the sad demise of Manohar Parikkar.
According to Home Ministry spokesperson the national flag will fly at half-mast in the national capital, the union territories and the state capitals.