Life and times of Manohar Parrikar

Manohar Parrikar, who rose from a Pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become the country's Defence Minister and also chief minister of Goa, passed away on March 17. 

Parrikar's early life

Manohar Parrikar, who played a key role in making the BJP a force to reckon with in Goa with regional outfits having pockets of influence, passed away on March 17. 

He was 63 when he died battling pancreatic cancer. 

Parrikar was born on December 13, 1955, into a middle-class family in Mapusa, Goa. 


First IITian to serve as MLA

He studied at Loyola High School, Margao and completed his secondary education in Marathi. 

After that, graduated in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay). 

Parrikar was the first IIT alumnus to serve as MLA of an Indian state. 

In 2001, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the IIT Bombay. 


Began political career as RSS pracharak

Parrikar began his political career as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak and continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay. 

He never shied away from displaying his affiliation to the Sangh and was even photographed participating in the annual 'Sanchalan' organised by the RSS in the uniform and wielding lathi. 

He even credited the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during his tenure as Defence Minister to the teachings of the RSS.


Political career

Parrikar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency. 

He was a leader of the Opposition from June to November 1999 and was known for his speeches against the then Congress-led government. 

He became chief minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000, but his tenure lasted only until February 27, 2002. 

On June 5, 2002, he was re-elected and served another term as chief minister.  

After losing to Digambar Kamat in 2007, Parrikar in 2012 saw a popularity wave in the state when he took his party to the historic number of 21 out of 40 seats in the assembly. 

He went on to become the chief minister again. BJP continued its victory mark in the year 2014 when the party won both the Lok Sabha seats.

After the Modi-led Cabinet was sworn at the Centre, Parrikar was offered a ministerial berth in November 2014. 

He remained in the union cabinet till 2017 when his party failed to garner a majority in the Goa legislative assembly polls.  

He was a former member of the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. 

Parrikar enjoyed a man-next-door image in the politically-volatile coastal state. 


Defence Minister

After the Modi-led Cabinet was sworn at the Centre, Parrikar was offered a ministerial berth in November 2014. 

He became Defence Minister and remained in the union cabinet till 2017 when his party failed to garner a majority in the Goa legislative assembly polls. 

He returned to the state in March 2017 when he managed to woo alliance partners such as Goa Forward Party and MGP to support him to form the government.


His battle with cancer

His health started deteriorating in February 2018 and he was first admitted at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital for pancreatic ailment. He was flown to the US in the first week of March last year where he remained admitted at hospital till June. 

Parrikar attended the monsoon session of Assembly from July 19 to August 3, and left for the USA on August 10 for the second round of checkup. He returned to Goa on August 22, 2018. 

After being treated at a makeshift medical facility at his residence, Parrikar was shifted to the AIIMS New Delhi on September 15 last year.

After almost a month-long treatment, he returned to Goa on October 14.

Parrikar stunned everyone when he reached the CM's office on January 2 this year after a gap of almost two-and-a-half months. 

During the last few days, Parrikar had been in and out of Goa Medical College and Hospital for treatment but was mostly confined to his private residence. 


Condolences pour in from all quarters over sad demise of Parrikar

Condolences began pouring in from all quarters moment after the news of sad demise of Parrikar was shared with the nation on late Sunday evening by President Ram Nath Kovind.

President Kovind tweeted, "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 of India will not be forgotten."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday described him as an unparalleled leader, who was a true patriot and an exceptional administrator, admired by all. 

Modi said his service to the nation will be remembered by generations. 

"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. Shanti," the prime minister said in a tweet.


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