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Who is Manohar Parrikar? The technocrat-turned politician, BJP's most 'demanded man'


New Delhi, Mar 17: Manohar Parrikar, Goa Chief Minister and former defence minister, passed away at the age of 63 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Parrikar was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in February 2018 and had been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York since.

Who is Manohar Parrikar?

[Manohar Parrikar passes away: National mourning declared on Monday]

Born on 13 December 1955, Parrikar was an Indian politician and leader of Bharatiya Janata Party who had been Chief Minister of Goa since 14 March 2017. Previously he was Chief Minister of Goa from 2000 to 2005 and from 2012 to 2014.

Parrikar proposed the name of Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate before the 2013 BJP parliamentary elections convention in Goa, later he served in the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Defence Minister of India from 2014 to 2017. He is a former member of the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.

From an RSS pracharak to a Union Minister, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was known for his administrative acumen and clean image, which left an indelible mark on the politics of the tiny state.

A Mumbai IIT graduate in metallurgical engineering and among the first members of BJP in Goa, Parrikar was instrumental in raising the profile of his party from its just four members in state assembly in 1994 to its present status as a ruling party in the state assembly.

[Who is Manohar Parrikar? The technocrat-turned politician]

Parrikar had caused a flutter in the BJP with remarks that the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat were a "blot" on Modi's career though he was not personally part of it. The Goa CM, who was also known for his blunt talk and development initiatives, got the first taste of power in the state in 2000 when he was elected the Chief Minister, becoming the first IITian to head a state government. He also had an image of being an organised taskmaster.

His controversial Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report bringing to fore the illegal mining led to a major investigation by Justice M B Shah commission into iron ore extraction activity in the State.

Armed with the party's populist manifesto during his third stint in 2012, Parrikar cut down the prices of petrol in the State by almost Rs 11 per litre, the move which made him most a popular chief minister overnight.

Social security schemes like Grih Adhar (providing monthly income for housewives) and Ladli Lakshmi (giving financial help for marriage of girl child) cemented his popularity in the State.

At the same time, Parrikar earned the ire of his opponents for failing to redress issues like stoppage of mining and shifting of off shore casinos away from River Mandovi near Panaji.

A RSS pracharak from Goa, Parrikar's electoral debut was unsuccessful when he was defeated by Congress candidate Harish Zantye in the 1991 Lok Sabha polls.

He was first elected to the second legislative assembly of Goa in 1994. Later, he rose to become the Leader of Opposition from June to November 1999.

On January 29, 2005, his Government was reduced to a minority in the Assembly after four BJP MLAs resigned from the House. However, Parrikar proved his majority in the House next month.

The Goa Chief Minister was tipped to be part of the Modi Government when it took office on May 26 but he had apparently refused to join. Parrikar had said that he would not like to jump into national politics and that he would rather retire from Goa.

Parrikar was a widower after having lost his wife 12 years ago.

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