- Manohar Parrikar's death was widely condoled on social media
- Amit Shah, Rahul Gandhi among first to pay their respects to Mr Parrikar
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Parrikar "an unparalleled leader"
The death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar after a year-long battle against pancreatic cancer was widely condoled on social media today. Among the first to pay their respects to Mr Parrikar were BJP chief Amit Shah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
While Mr Shah said that the former Defence Minister's death was "extremely painful", Mr Gandhi described him as a politician who was "admired across party lines".
"Manohar Parrikarji's demise is extremely painful. In him, the nation has lost a true patriot who selflessely dedicated his entire life to the country and ideology. Parrikarji's commitment towards his people and duties was exemplary," the BJP chief tweeted.
Mr Gandhi, who had often been at loggerheads with Mr Parrikar over the Rafale fighter jet deal, acknowledged the bravery with which he faced the pancreatic ailment that claimed his life. "I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Goa CM, Shri Manohar Parrikarji, who bravely battled a debilitating illness for over a year. Respected and admired across party lines, he was one of Goa's favourite sons. My condolences to his family in this time of grief," he tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind termed the four-time Chief Minister as an "epitome of integrity and dedication in public life".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Parrikar "an unparalleled leader". In a series of tweets, PM Modi paid his respect to the veteran leader who established the party in a state that has a substantial Christian vote.
"A true patriot and exceptional administrator, he was admired by all. His impeccable service to the nation will be remembered by generations. Deeply saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and supporters," PM Modi said.
Shri Manohar Parrikar was the builder of modern Goa. Thanks to his affable personality and accessible nature, he remained the preferred leader of the state for years. His pro-people policies ensured Goa scales remarkable heights of progress.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 17, 2019
India will be eternally grateful to Shri Manohar Parrikar for his tenure as our Defence Minister. When he was RM, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India's security capacities, boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 17, 2019
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Kerala parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were others who took to social media to tweet their regret at Mr Parrikar's death immediately after the news emerged.
Mr Gadkari, a close friend of Mr Parrikar, described him as a leader who was much loved by everybody in the party. "I am speechless. Today, we have lost a person who always practised gentle and simple politics. My brother Manohar was truly the leader of every worker's heart," he tweeted soon after the news emerged.
The Union Minister later told NDTV that he will be leaving for Goa to console Mr Parrikar's family in their moment of sorrow. "BJP managed to form a government in Goa because of him. He went on to become the Defence Minister, and then the Goa Chief Minister, all on the party's request. He was a down-to-earth worker. He's not with us today, and it saddens me. May he rest in peace," he said.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra recalled her meeting with the former Defence Minister in a tweet as she condoled his death. "My condolences to the bereaved family of Shri. Manohar Parrikar. I met him only once, when he graciously visited my mother at the hospital two years ago. May his soul rest in peace," she said.
Mr Tharoor described the late Goa Chief Minister as "a rare IIT graduate in politics who was widely admired for his simplicity and straightforwardness". Akhilesh Yadav, for his part, wished for "strength to his soul and strength to his family". Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Mr Parrikar's untimely death has "left a void that will be difficult to fill".
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