The funeral rites of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were held this evening at Marimar Beach with full military and state honours, and thousands of supporters bidding the affable politician an emotional adieu.
The mortal remains of Parrikar, wrapped in the national tri-colour, were placed on a pyre amid a 21 gun salute at the beach and his elder son Utpal Parrikar consigned it to flames. BJP president Amit Shah, some Union ministers and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states were amongst others to attend the funeral at Miramar.
The funeral procession started from the Kala Academy where thousands, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid their last respects to the former defence minister. Modi later tweeted saying Parrikar personified humility, simplicity and compassion.
The affection and popularity Parrikar enjoyed among ordinary Goans was on display as hundreds of common folks, and his party workers lined up to pay tributes to the chief minister.
Notably, the late Goa Chief Minister, aged 63, died at his private residence in Panaji on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. The first BJP leader to be Goa Chief Minister, Parrikar headed the state from 2000-05 and 2012-14, before joining the Narendra Modi government as Defence Minister from 2014.
The country’s first Indian Institute of Technology alumnus to serve as Chief Minister of a state, he assumed the mantle on four occasions from 2000, but could not complete a single full term in office.
He returned to state politics in 2017 to lead a coalition government headed by the BJP and continue in office despite his protracted illness and criticism from the Opposition and civil society, which had repeatedly demanded his resignation on health grounds. A widower, Parrikar is survived by his sons, Utpal and Abhijat, their wives and a grandson.