Manohar Parrikar dead, Kovind salutes his ‘long battle of fortitude’

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Published: March 18, 2019 12:59:44 AM

A couple of hours before the announcement of Parrikar’s death, the Goa Congress had reiterated at a press conference that it has the numbers to form the government in the state, and accused Governor Mridula Sinha of behaving like “a BJP office bearer”.

Parrikar dead, Kovind salutes his ‘long battle of fortitude’Parrikar dead, Kovind salutes his ‘long battle of fortitude’

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar passed away after prolonged illness Sunday evening. The official handle of President Ram Nath Kovind posted on Twitter: “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 #PresidentKovind” Parrikar had been ailing for long. His condition had deteriorated sharply on Saturday, after which the Goa BJP had held an “emergency meeting” and acknowledged, for the first time that the “chances of his getting better are slim”. They had discussed the “strategy” for the future, senior party leader Michael Lobo had said: “He is quite unwell, very… it’s almost… If something happens [to Parrikar] the new CM will be from BJP.”

At 7 pm on Sunday evening, an hour before the President’s tweet, the official handle of the Goa Chief Minister’s Office had posted on Twitter: “Chief Minister @manoharparrikar’s health condition is extremely critical. Doctors are trying their best.” Relatives of the Chief Minister, senior government officials, and political leaders had started to arrive at his residence in Dona Paula in Panaji.

A couple of hours before the announcement of Parrikar’s death, the Goa Congress had reiterated at a press conference that it has the numbers to form the government in the state, and accused Governor Mridula Sinha of behaving like “a BJP office bearer”. The Congress had urged Sinha to officially declare the state of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s health to the people of Goa.

At Sunday’s press conference, Goa Congress chief Girish Chodonkar said: “From the day of elections till date we are the single largest party. We have never been allowed to prove our majority. We have many options. The formation of government is never about a race to Raj Bhavan. Then too we had given a letter on the same day and the Governor never even had the courtesy to acknowledge it. This is because she believes she is still an office bearer of the BJP. Our immediate aim is to bring the Governor to her senses.”

Meanwhile, former CM and Congress MLA Digambar Kamat denied reports that he was joining the BJP.

“Since the morning I am being chased. Till today I have not met anybody,” Kamat told Indian Express. “Today also, I have finished my work in Delhi. I have not met anyone neither in the BJP or in the Congress. But I am with the Congress and I will be attending the CLP (meeting).”

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