Flashback: When a witty Parrikar attacked opponents at Bengaluru event during 2014 LS election
Bengaluru, March 18: It was in the election season of 2014. The Narendra Modi wave had engulfed the nation and the BJP was predicted to win and come back to power after a gap of a decade. It was on a hot April morning that Manohar Parrikar, the chief minister of Goa, who made a visit to Bengaluru to speak in a programme named 'India at Crossroads - BJP's vision' organised by the Karnataka chapter of the BJP at the New Horizon College of Engineering in the city's eastern part.
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and the writer was also there to lend ears to the leader. Parrikar took care of the fact that his speech did not become boring for the listeners to ruin their holiday mood. The leader spoke in English and Hindi and in between expressing his viewpoints on various political issues, he delivered funny anecdotes to attack opponents like Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, among others.
Parrikar was particularly ruthless against Kejriwal, also an IITian like him. Mocking the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader who was quite in the headlines then because of his activism, Parrikar had said that simplicity had nothing to do with one's administrative ability. The target was clearly the "common man's leader".
He also said on that occasion that in Goa, it is either you or me and not aap.On former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Parrikar, a man with wit, said: "The latest joke about Manmohan Singh doing the rounds is that when one asked him to open his mouth to defend his critics, Singh said Abki Baar Modi Sarkar."
Parrikar had also said at the event that Nandan Nilekani, the Bengaluru-based entrepreneur who had contested on the Congress's ticket in the 2014 election, made a wrong choice at a wrong time. "He may land in the same situation like the Aadhar," Parrikar mocked Nilekani.
Parrikar passed away on Sunday, March 17, in Panaji following a prolonged battle against pancreatic cancer. He was two years into his fourth stint as the chief minister of Goa, the state he loved so much, at the time of his death. He was 63.