Thousands of people bid emotional farewell to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who was cremated on Monday evening with full state-honours at Miramar beach, Panaji. The 63-year-old died on Sunday following a prolonged pancreatic ailment.
Parrikar’s son Utpal lit the funeral pyre in the presence of thousands of mourners and a battery of political leaders descended upon the venue.
Having served as four-time Goa chief minister, Parrikar had a three-year-long stint as Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi-led cabinet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with ministers from the Centre and states were present on the occasion to pay their last respects to the leader.
Earlier this afternoon, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Modi flew down to Panjim to pay his last respects to Parrikar and met his family.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said: “Paid tributes to my friend Shri Manohar Parrikar. He personified humility, simplicity and compassion. The good work he has done will be remembered for years to come.”
Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states were present on the occasion.
Earlier in the day, at the Goa BJP office, a pall of gloom descended as a large number of his supporters turned emotional when his mortal remains, wrapped in the tricolour, were brought.
The funeral truck carrying the chief minister’s body travelled about 5 km from his residence in Dona Paula to Panaji, as people tried to catch sight of the leader, who rose from the small coastal state to become the country’s defence minister.
Parrikar, who was often referred to as ‘common man’s CM‘, was being treated at the AIIMS Delhi. His health started deteriorating in February 2018 and he was first admitted at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital for pancreatic ailment. He was flown to the US in the first week of March last year where he remained admitted at hospital till June.
After fighting a prolonged battle against pancreatic cancer, Parrikar breathed his last on Sunday evening at his Panaji residence.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, and Prime Minister Modi led the nation in condoling the sad demise on Sunday.