March 17: Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar died on Sunday. The President of India Ram Nath Kovind in a tweet informed of his demise. Parrikar had been battling a pancreatic ailment for more than a year, and died at his son’s home in Panaji. He was 63.
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
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) March 17, 2019
“An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, his service to the people of Goa and of India will not be forgotten,” the president said. A condolence meet will be held in the Union Cabinet at 11 am on Monday.
The three-time chief minister had said in January that he “will serve Goa till my last breath.” Mr Parrikar, in recent months, had made public appearances with a tube in his nose, looking frail. Mr Parrikar headed a coalition government, which is supported by the Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), and three Independent lawmakers in Goa. His death leaves the state in a crisis, as the Congress has written to the Goa Governor to dismiss the “minority” government, and to invite them to form the government.
It was during Manohar Parrikar’s tenure as Defence Minister that the re-negotiated Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France was inked. The deal has dominated headlines as the Congress has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of corruption while alleging Mr Parrikar had no idea about the deal signed between the two countries.