New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) The Union Cabinet on Monday condoled the death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who passed away at his private residence in Panaji on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. He was 63.
The Cabinet also extended condolences to the former Defence Minister’s family and the people of Goa on behalf of the Central government and the entire nation.
It observed a two-minute silence and also approved a day of mourning at the Centre and flying the national flag at half-mast on Monday across the country.
“The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Manohar Parrikar. In his passing away, the country has lost a veteran and distinguished leader, affectionately called as the Chief Minister of commoners,” a Cabinet statement said.
It observed that Parrikar would be remembered for his simplicity and his abilities as an exceptional administrator.
“His contribution to the building of modern Goa and to the modernization of India’s Armed Forces as well as improvement to the lives of ex-servicemen will never be forgotten.”
Born on December 13, 1955, at Mapusa, Goa, Parrikar was educated at Loyola School, Margao and later graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai in 1978.
Before entering politics, Parrikar had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a young age and became a Mukhya Shikshak (Chief Instructor) in the final years of his schooling itself. After graduating from IIT, he resumed RSS work in Mapusa and became a Sanghchalak at the age of 26.
As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Goa in 1994. He became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000 and continued till February 27, 2002. He was re-elected as Chief Minister on June 3, 2002 and served till February 2, 2005.
Parrikar became Chief Minister of Goa for the third time on March 9, 2012, and continued till November 8, 2014. On November 9, 2014, he became Union Minister of Defence and continued till March 13, 2017. He was again sworn in as Chief Minister of Goa on March 14, 2017.
Parrikar was awarded the ‘Distinguished Alumnus Award’ by IIT Mumbai in 2001, Honorary Doctorate by National Institute of Technology, Goa in 2018 and the Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Award in 2018, among others. He is survived by his two sons.