Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, a former defence minister who had been battling a pancreatic ailment for over a year, died at his private residence near here on Sunday. He was 63.
The health of Parrikar, a technocrat-turned-politician and BJP stalwart, took a turn for the worse in the past two days after his medical condition fluctuated for over a year. The four-term chief minister was flown to the US for treatment in March last year.
The chief minister died around 6.40 pm on Sunday,” said a senior state government official.
Sources said Parrikar was put on life support system late Saturday night. A widower, Parrikar is survived by his two sons and their families.
The central government announced national mourning on Monday.
Several top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nitin Gadkari, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh will be in Goa on Monday to attend Manohar Parrikar’s last rites.
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.
Several political leaders, including Union AYUSH minister and Goa MP Shripad Naik, assembly speaker Pramod Sawant and Lok Sabha MP Narendra Sawaikar, reached Parrikar’s private residence in Dona Paula after the news of his demise broke.
Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle-class family, his political career began as an RSS pracharak and he 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 was the defence minister from November 2014 to March 2017 during the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.