Today is a dark day for Goa. The honorable Chief Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar has passed away after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 63 years old. News of his death comes at a time when Goa is preparing for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections scheduled for the 23rd of April. At 7 pm on Sunday, March 17, the CM’s office officially announced that the Chief Minister’s health was ‘extremely critical’, and that doctors were trying their best to keep him stable. At 8:20 pm, his death was officially announced.
The rise of a leader
Manohar Parrikar took the office of Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000. Though his tenure lasted only till February of 2002, he was soon re-elected in June the same year and went on to serve another term of Chief Minister. In January of 2005 when his government was reduced to a minority in the Assembly after 4 BJP MLA’s resigned, Parrikar was replaced by Pratap Singh Rane of the Indian National Congress, and later Digambar Kamat. It wasn’t until 2012 when the BJP won 24 seats against the Congress, and 2014 when the BJP won both the Lok Sabha seats, did Parrikar have an important decision to make – and it was not an easy one. Based on his outstanding work for the people of Goa, Parrikar was invited by the Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of India to join the Central Government as Defence Minister.
Defender of the nation
In addition to the office of DM, Manohar Parrikar was also chosen as the party’s candidate for the elected Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh. In 2017, Manohar Parrikar returned to Goa as Chief Minister once again. During the last couple of years, Parrikar has spearheaded a number of developments, mainly the overall road transport infrastructure along the NH66, with the crown jewel being the newly inaugurated Atal Sethu bridge. His diagnosis and later struggle with pancreatic cancer did not stop him from taking charge and maintaining the office of Chief Minister, being an inspiration to his people, and setting an example for those to follow.
Condolences from across the country
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 #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) March 17, 2019
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.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 17, 2019
Deeply saddened and pained by the demise of my dear friend & Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Manohar Parrikar, tweets @rajnathsingh
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) March 17, 2019
Deeply saddened to learn about the untimely passing away of Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa.
He is one of the most lovable and honest senior politicians of our country. He was a dynamic and dedicated individual who led life full of values and principles.#Parrikar pic.twitter.com/TJ29N0w8V2
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) March 17, 2019