PM Narendra Modi calls Manohar Parrikar unparalleled leader, true patriot and exceptional administrator

New Delhi: Expressing condolences on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Manohar Parrikar an ‘unparalleled and exceptional administrator.’ Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Parrikar died at his residence in Panaji on Sunday evening. He was 63.

The Central government has declared the national mourning on March 18. “The national flag will fly at half-mast in the national capital and capitals of all States and UTs. The state funeral shall be accorded to Shri Parrikar. A meeting of the Union Cabinet has been called at 10 am on Monday,” said a statement from the Centre.

Prime Minister Modi tweeted: “Shri Manohar Parrikar was an unparalleled leader. A true patriot and exceptional administrator! He was admired by all. His impeccable service to the nation will be remembered by generations. Deeply saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti.”

PM Modi also recalled his contribution towards building a modern Goa and said, “Shri Manohar Parrikar was the builder of modern Goa. Thanks to his affable personality and accessible nature, he remained the preferred leader of the state for years. His pro-people policies ensured Goa scales remarkable heights of progress.” “India will be eternally grateful to Shri Manohar Parrikar for his tenure as our Defence Minister. When he was RM, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India’s security capacities boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen,” the Prime Minister added.

Late in the evening, Goa Chief Minister’s office confirmed that Chief Minister Parrikar passed away after “spirited battle against cancer.”‘ “We inform with deep grief that our beloved Chief Minister of Goa Shri. Manohar Parrikar passed away today evening, after a spirited battle against cancer,” the Chief Minister’s office said.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also condoled the death of Parrikar and said, “The news of the passing away of Chief Minister of Goa Shri @manoharparrik ji is extremely distressing. Manoharji’s energetic, sincere personality will always be remembered for simplicity, truth, thinking, and determination.” “Today the country’s politics has lost a star. We will always keep the Chief Minister of Goa, the former Defense Minister of the country on our memories. I pray to God for him and his family. Goodbye @manoharparrikar ji!” she said.

BJP president Amit Shah said: “Manohar Parrikar ji’s demise is extremely painful. In him, the nation has lost a true patriot who selflessly dedicated his entire life to the country and ideology. Parrikar ji’s commitment towards his people and duties was exemplary.” “Parrikar ji has shown the entire nation how a BJP Karyakarta, even during his toughest time, is committed to the philosophy of Nation First, Party Next and Self Last. He will always be remembered for his contributions as India’s Defence Minister and as CM of Goa,” said Shah.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told ANI: “BJP has faced a huge loss with the demise of #ManoharParrikar Ji… Apart from being a party member, he was a really close friend of mine. He isn’t with me today and I’m personally very pained by this. I am immediately leaving for Goa.” Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that Parrikar’s demise has left a huge gap in politics.

“Goa CM Manohar Parrikar was a good human being. His passing away has left a huge gap in politics. We have lost a good politician. His demise has caused us immense grief. I express my grief and I pay my tributes on behalf of my party and myself,” said Kharge.

Expressing grief Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu wrote on Twitter, “Deepest condolences over the untimely death of former Defence Minister and Chief Minister of Goa Shri Manohar Parrikar. May his soul rest in peace! May God give strength and support to the bereaved family at this saddest hour.” Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao called Parrikar a visionary and cultured leader while expressing his deepest condolence on latter’s demise.

“Shri Manohar Parrikar was one of the most brilliant, cultured and visionary leaders in the contemporary politics of India. As leader of the Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly, as Chief Minister of Goa and as Defence Minister of India, he discharged his duty with utmost dedication, sincerity, and commitment,” he stated.

Former Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar, who worked with Parrikar, said: “Extremely saddened by the news of Mr Parrikar’s demise. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. He was easily one of the brightest stars of the country’s political firmament. His honesty dedication, hard work, and simplicity were an exemplary model for every politician. His passing away is indeed a monumental loss for clean politics. It was my good luck that I had the unique opportunity to work with him when he was the Defence Minister. May his soul rest in everlasting peace!” Sixty-three-year-old Parrikar, who was battling a pancreatic ailment since last year, breathed his last at his residence on Sunday evening.

A four-time Chief Minister of Goa, Parrikar had been in and out of the hospitals since February last year. It was in October last year that the state government made a formal announcement about the BJP leader suffering from a pancreatic ailment. He had undergone treatment in the United States as well as in New Delhi.

Parrikar took charge as the Chief Minister on March 14, 2017, and held the office till his end. He had previously served as the Chief Minister of the state from 2000 to 2002, 2002 to 2005 and from 2012 to 2014. Considered close to Prime Minister Modi, Parrikar served as the Defence Minister from May 2014 to March 2017.

Born in Mapusa in the coastal state of Goa, Parrikar studied at Loyola High School, Margao. In 1978 he graduated in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. Parrikar was also one of those leaders who rose in ranks from RSS to BJP. Parrikar had joined RSS even during final years of his school days and later became the Sanghchalak at the age of 26.

Often referred to as the ‘Chief Minister of the Common’ man by many, Parrikar was known for his simple style of living and for being easily approachable by the citizens of Goa. Parrikar is survived by his two sons–Utpal, an Electrical Engineering graduate from Michigan State University, and Abhijat, a local businessman. His wife Medha passed away in 2000.

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