Parrikar not only enjoyed exceptional rapport within the BJP but across parties of India's political spectrum.
News of Manohar Parrikar’s death has united people across professions in condoling the demise of the symbol of simplicity. Support and gratitude for Parrikar swelled as people remembered the Goa Chief Minister as a leader who continued to serve his state in extreme illness, unable to walk without any support. Parrikar not only enjoyed exceptional rapport within the BJP, but across parties of India’s political spectrum. Parrikar lost a long battle to cancer. He breathed his last at his private residence on Sunday in Goa.
President Ram Nath Kovind condoled the death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, saying Parrikar was an “epitome of integrity and dedication in public life”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.
Parrikar was a leader who enjoyed acceptance from all sections of the BJP and beyond. He played a key role in making the BJP a force to reckon with in Goa, which remained for long a Congress bastion, with regional outfits having pockets of influence. Despite his falling health, Parrikar had presented two state budgets in 2018 and 2019 and had attended public functions, including the inauguration of an iconic bridge across River Mandovi where he made a public appearance with a pipe attached to his nose.
Parrikar’s dedication and simplicity have won him appreciation not just from his party colleagues but also from the BJP’s fiercest rivals like the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the PDP.
Here are some reactions from leaders who condoled the demise of the “common man’s chief minister”:
Congress president Rahul Gandhi described him as “one of Goa’s favourite sons”. On Twitter, Rahul wrote: “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. My condolences to his family in this time of grief.”
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar also expressed grief over his demise and said, “We have lost an able and industrious administrator who made his mark with his simple demeanour and extraordinary intellect. My sincere condolences to his family members,” Pawar tweeted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed Parrikar as a “symbol of simplicity” in politics. “Extremely saddened at the news of passing away of Goa CM Sh 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,” tweeted Kejriwal.
West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, in a tweet said, “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 wrote on Twitter.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel extended his deepest sympathies to the family of Parrikar.
“गोवा के मुख्यमंत्री एवं पूर्व रक्षा मंत्री मनोहर पर्रिकर जी का निधन दुखद है। ईश्वर दुख की इस घड़ी में उनके परिजनों को संबल प्रदान करे”(Saddened by the demise of Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. May God provide strength to the family in this moment of grief), Baghel said via Twitter.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said despite facing serious health issues, Parikkar always undertook his administrative responsibilities. “CM Pinarayi Vijayan has condoled the passing away of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. CM recalled that Mr. Parrikar carried out his duties even while enduring health problems,” tweeted CMO Kerala.
DMK president M K Stalin tweeted, “Extremely saddened to hear about the demise of Chief Minister of Goa, Thiru Manohar Parrikar. On behalf of DMK, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends and fellow party persons.”
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the nation will remember him as a loved public figure. “Deeply saddened by the passing of Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa and former Defence Minister. The nation will remember him as a loved public figure. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace!,” tweeted Singh.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said he was a true fighter who worked tirelessly for the welfare of his people with a sense of duty and dignity. “Saddened to hear about the passing away of Shri Manohar Parrikar. He was a true fighter who despite battling cancer, worked tirelessly for the welfare of his people with a sense of duty & dignity. Condolences to his loved ones & family,” Mufti tweeted.
National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said Parrikar’s untimely demise has left a void that will be difficult to fill. “My heartfelt condolences to the family, friends & colleagues of #ManoharParrikar Sahib. His untimely demise has left a void that will be difficult to fill. May his soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot condoled his death and prayed for peace of the departed soul. “Deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Manohar Parrikar ji, Chief Minister of Goa. My heartfelt condolences to his family members..May his soul rest in peace,” Gehlot said on Twitter.
Born on December 13, 1955, into a middle-class family, Parrikar began his political career as an RSS pracharak and continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay as a metallurgical engineer. Parrikar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency.
He served as the Chief Minister of Goa for four terms and was the Defence minister from November 2014 to March 2017 during the tenure of PM Modi.