Manohar Parrikar, Goa chief minister, former defence minister and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader passed away at the age of 63 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, reports News18.
Parrikar earned a lot of praise from people for working tirelessly for Goa’s welfare despite suffering from pancreatic cancer. Not only the chief minister adorned the opening ceremony of Atal Setu on Mandovi river, but also presented the state’s budget with a tube up his nose.
Starting from the grassroots, Parrikar’s journey took him from being a humble RSS pracharak to the world’s largest democracy’s defence minister. Known for his blunt and confrontational style, under Parrikar’s tenure as defence minister, India conducted the surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Himself a graduate of IIT Mumbai, Parrikar was well known for his development initiatives. The famous Atal Setu in Goa was his brainchild, from conceptualising to overseeing its execution. The social security schemes launched under his leadership like Grih Adhar (providing monthly income for housewives) and Ladli Lakshmi (giving financial help for marriage of girl child) made him popular in the coastal state.
Parrikar will also be remembered for the sustained campaign against illegal mining in the state. The issue later on became the rallying point against incumbent Congress government. As a Leader of Opposition, he exposed Congress party’s several alleged acts of irregularities. His Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on the subject led to a major investigation by Justice MB Shah Commission into the iron ore extraction activity in the state.
In 2013, he was the first BJP chief minister to have publicly raised the idea that Narendra Modi should be the face of the party in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Considered a confidante of Modi, Parrikar stood by him during party's decision to make him campaign in-charge before 2014 elections.
Known as a tough taskmaster and organised leader, Parrikar’s death is being mourned by BJP and the opposition alike.
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