The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Goa will commemorate the first death anniversary of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday with a series of programmes that are scheduled to go ahead despite advisories against ‘mass gatherings’ in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Parrikar, four-time chief minister of Goa and former Union minister, passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer on March 17, 2019, and was accorded state funeral the next day. Parrikar was later posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan earlier this year.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Cabinet ministers and other dignitaries will offer floral tributes to the late leader and pay homage at designated site for Parrikar memorial at Miramar beach at 9 am. The ruling BJP announced it has planned programmes across the state tomorrow to observe the first death anniversary.
Parrikar’s death had posed a leadership issue for the BJP in the state. The party eventually settled for Sawant who was chosen owing to his background in BJP’s ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He was also the only BJP MLA who was not formerly associated with the Congress or any other Opposition party.
“Parrikar’s contribution to the growth of the party organization in the state has been immense. The party will miss his presence forever. The Pramod Sawant-led government has been holding the reign of the state governing the state in line with the thoughts of Parrikar,” State BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said.
Parrikar’s death saw the return of Satish Dhond as organising secretary in Goa BJP. Dhond was redesignated to Maharashtra during Parrikar’s final term in office. Parrikar’s son Utpal, who was tipped to be given the BJP ticket for Panaji seat vacated after the death of his father, was overlooked in favour of Siddharth Kuncaliencar who subsequently lost to the Congress candidate Atanasio Monserrate. Monserrate later joined the BJP.
Meanwhile, a petition opposing the construction of Parrikar memorial at the cost of Rs 10 crore at Miramar beach has been filed before the Bombay High Court.