New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Condolences poured in from across party lines for Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who passed away at his private residence in Panaji on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 63.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Parrikar as the “builder of modern Goa” and an “affable personality.”
“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 the Defence Minister, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India’s security capacities, boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen,” 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,” the Prime Minister said.
Parrikar was known to be one of the first leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party to have advocated Modi’s candidature for the post of Prime Minister.
President Ram Nath Kovind eulogised him as an “epitome of integrity.” “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 India will not be forgotten,” the President tweeted from his official handle.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi hailed the BJP leader for the hardihood he had shown in the face of a “debilitating” illness. “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Goa CM, Shri Manohar Parrikar Ji, who bravely battled a debilitating illness for over a year. Respected and admired across party lines, he was one of Goa’s favourite sons,” Gandhi tweeted.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who held the defence portfolio briefly after Parrikar was relieved of that post, expressed his grief in a tweet, hailing Parrikar as someone who was loved by all.
“Saddened to know about the demise of senior BJP leader Shri Manohar Parrikar ji, Chief Minister of Goa. He always led by example in his public life and was loved by masses. He will be missed by everyone of us. May God render peace to the departed soul. Om Shanti,” he wrote.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hailed Parrikar for the work he did to modernise the armed forces, turning it into a “mean fighting machine” during his tenure.
“Shri Manohar Parrikar is no more. A sincere, honest and sensitive political activist. Was simple and down to earth, I learnt a lot from Shri Parrikar. As Raksha Mantri his contribution to making the armed forces a modernised, lean and mean fighting machine will remain unparalleled,” she said on Twitter.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted: “My condolences to the bereaved family of Shri Manohar Parrikar. I met him only once, when he graciously visited my mother at the hospital two years ago. May his soul rest in peace.”
BJP President Amit Shah championed the departed soul as a “true patriot”. “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,” Shah wrote on Twitter.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also took to Twitter to mourn the death of Parrikar. “Saddened at the passing away of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ji. He patiently endured his illness. Condolences to his family and his admirers,” she tweeted.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal remembered Parrikar for his “simplicity”. “Extremely saddened at the news of passing away of Goa CM Shri Manohar Parrikar ji. A symbol of simplicity in politics who led a humble life is no longer with us. May his family bear the irreparable loss with courage. Prayers with them,” Kejriwal posted on his official Twitter handle.
Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy also condoled the death of his Goan counterpart. “Extremely saddened to hear the passing away of the Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar. He was respected by all across political lines. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones,” tweeted Kumaraswamy.
“Extremely saddened by the untimely demise of my good friend Manohar Parrikar ji. An epitome of impeccable integrity, a down to earth personality, the first IITian to become CM of a state, great son of India gone too soon… RIP my dear friend,” Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet.
The condition of Parrikar, diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in February last year and in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York since then, had turned “extremely critical” on Sunday.