Panaji: The funeral procession of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar began in Panaji on Monday, with thousands joining the cortege to bid him a fond farewell. The mortal remains of the 63-year-old senior BJP leader were kept in a flower-decked hearse which left the Kala Academy here for the Miramar beach, where the last rites will be performed.
The affection and popularity Parrikar enjoyed among ordinary Goans was on display as hundreds of common folks, and his party workers lined up to pay tributes to the chief minister, who died on Sunday after a prolonged illness. Parrikar will be accorded state funeral with full military honours at Miramar, an official said.
Earlier, a pall of gloom descended on the BJP office and hundreds of Parrikar supporters turned emotional when his mortal remains, wrapped in the tricolour, were brought there.
As the vehicle carrying his body travelled 5 km from his private residence in Dona Paula to Panaji in the morning, people tried to catch a glimpse of the leader, who rose from the small coastal state to become the country’s defence minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Parrikar the Kala Academy and met his family members and offered his condolences to them. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman also met Parrikar’s family members.
The final rites of Parrikar will be performed at the Miramar beach, next to the memorial of Goa’s first chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar, who was also cremated there, a state BJP spokesperson said.