The Government of India announced national mourning on Monday as Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar breathed his last in Panaji this evening, officials said. A Home Ministry spokesperson said the national flag will fly at half-mast in the national capital, the union territories and the state capitals. A meeting of the Union Cabinet will be held on Monday at 10 am. State funeral will be accorded to Parrikar.
The Goa chief minister died at his private residence in Panaji. He was 63. A four-term chief minister and former defence minister, Parrikar had been battling a pancreatic ailment since February last year. The BJP stalwart's health, which has been fluctuating for over a year, took a turn for the worse in the past two days. Sources said Parrikar was put on life support system late Saturday night. Parrikar is survived by his two sons and their families.
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.
The former defence minister was a leader who enjoyed acceptance from all sections of the BJP and beyond. He played a key role in making the BJP a force to reckon with in Goa, which remained for long a Congress bastion, with regional outfits having pockets of influence.
Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle class family, his political career began as an RSS pracharak and he continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay as a metallurgical engineer.