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Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar passes away

Four-time Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (63) died at his private residence near here on Sunday after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer for over a year. As news of Mr. Parrikar’s death broke President Ram Nath Kovind offered his condolences and paid tributes. 

Treatment at home 

Mr. Parrikar, the tallest BJP leader of Goa, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February last year and has been in and out of hospital within the country and abroad. At the time of his death, he was taking treatment at home. 

Last year he was rushed to the state-run Goa Medical College hospital when he complained of stomach pain and then flown to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai. The cause of stomach ache was then attributed to ‘food poisoning’ and much later after he returned from treatment in U.S., it was officially declared that he was suffering from cancer.

In his tribute, Mr. Kovind tweeted: “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.” 

Mr. Parrikar resigned as Chief Minister and served as Defence Minister from 2014-17 on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He returned to State politics to lead a coalition government of disparate parties and independents headed by the BJP, as Chief Minister in 2017, after Goa had a hung house and the BJP had lost power.

He continued in office despite his illness, mostly operating from his private residence and some times making brief public appearances.

The BJP faced criticism from the Opposition which demanded that Goa should have a fulltime Chief Minister, and some sections of civil society, which had repeatedly demanded his resignation on health grounds. 

Mr. Parrikar was the first Indian Institute of Technology alumnus(of IIT, Bombay) to serve as Chief Minister of Goa in 2000. He became Chief Minister for four terms, but, ironically, could not complete a single full term in office. 

Mr. Parrikar is survived by his two sons, Utpal and Abhijat, their respective spouses and a grandson. His wife had also succumbed to cancer while he was an MLA, in 2000.

The BJP faced criticism from the Opposition which said Goa should have a full-time Chief Minister, and some sections of civil society, which had repeatedly demanded his resignation on health grounds. 

Mr. Parrikar was the first Indian Institute of Technology alumnus (of IIT, Bombay) to serve as Chief Minister of Goa in 2000. 

He became Chief Minister for four terms, but, ironically, could not complete a single full term in office. 

He is survived by his two sons, Utpal and Abhijat, their respective spouses and a grandson. His wife had also succumbed to cancer while he was an MLA, in 2000.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi described him as “one of Goa’s favourite sons.” 

He said Mr. Parrikar was respected and admired across party lines and had bravely battled his illness for over a year.

AAP Goa Convenor Elvis Gomes said the State has lost a politician who changed the political discourse of the country.

7-day mourning

The Goa government has declared a one-day holiday on Monday and seven-day mourning for Mr. Parrikar.

The Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has postponed Higher Secondary examinations scheduled for Monday.

Source: thehindu.com

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