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Manohar Parrikar: The Stalwarts Of Politics & An Epitome Of Hardwork

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| March 18 , 2019 , 12:24 IST

It will take a while for Goans to become used to the fact that 63-year-old Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar died on Sunday after a protracted battle with pancreatic cancer for over a year.

Parrikar had been in and out of Goa for medical treatment since February 2018. He was initially admitted to Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital and later shifted to the United States for three months.

In September-October last year, Parrikar spent one-month undergoing treatment at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) before returning to Dona Paula.

Parrikar had quit as Union defense minister in March 2017 to return as chief minister of India’s smallest state to hold together the ruling coalition after its constituents refused to accept anyone else as its leader. That he stayed on in the job despite his deteriorating health, reflected his indispensability to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Parrikar, who rose from a Pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become the country's Defence Minister and also chief minister of Goa, enjoyed a man-next-door image in the politically-volatile coastal state of Goa.

A half-sleeved untucked shirt and leather sandals were to become his trademark attire; while his brisk pace and replies that went beyond “I will look into it” crafted an image of a professional-turned-politician.

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Born on December 13, 1955, to Utpal Parrikar and Radhabai Parrikar, Manohar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency. His wife Medha passed away in 2001 after a struggle with cancer and he is survived by his two sons.

Parrikar has been forced to remain in office as crucial alliance partners, who keep the government afloat, have refused to accept anyone else as chief minister.