By SM.18 Mar, 2019
PANAJI: Manohar Parrikar, Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister, who had been battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year, died at his son"s home in Panaji this evening. He was 63. The announcement was made in a tweet by President Ram Nath Kovind, condolence messages poured in from political leaders across the board.
"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," President Kovind tweeted.
"Manohar Parrikar passed away today evening, after a spirited battle against cancer," his office said.
Parrikar"s health had been fluctuating for several days and worsened on Saturday morning. The former Defence Minister had been in and out of hospital in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York since February last year. Last month, he was admitted in the Goa Medical College and Hospital near Panaji.
In January, the four-time chief minister had said he would "serve Goa till my last breath". His partymen acknowledged him as their leader even this morning in face of Congress attempts to dislodge the government and accusations that the party has fallen below halfway mark in the state assembly.
Over the recent months, Manohar Parrikar had made public appearances with a tube in his nose, looking frail. He had turned up at the state assembly to present the budget, triggering Congress allegations that the BJP was parading him around despite his condition to save its government in the state.
After his death was announced this evening, political leaders from across party lines expressed their grief.
"Goa BJP government was formed because of him. He also became defence minister. Again on party"s request, he became the Goa Chief Minister," said Union minister Nitin Gadkari, Manohar Parrikar"s long-time friend and party colleague.
BJP chief Amit Shah tweeted:
Chowkidar Amit Shah✔@AmitShah
Manohar Parrikar ji’s demise is extremely painful. In him, the nation has lost a true patriot who selflessely dedicated his entire life to the country and ideology. Parrikar ji’s commitment towards his people and duties was exemplary.
"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," Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted.