The last rites of former defence minister and Goa’s Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were concluded on Monday (18 March), Indian Express reported.
The final rites were conducted next to the memorial of Dayanand Bandodkar, Goa's first Chief Minister, who was also cremated there.
The funeral ceremony at Miramar Beach was conducted with full state honours. The ceremony included the chanting of Vedic hymns and was attended by scores of his supporters. Parrikar’s final funeral procession too was attended by thousands of his supporters.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Cabinet members and top BJP leaders paid their tribute to Parrikar.
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.