Simplicity has always been the hallmark of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manohar Parrikar, who would be taking over as the Chief Minister of Goa on Friday, after his party received overwhelming majority in the recently held State Legislative Assembly elections.
Even as entire political activities were revolving around this one person, the Chief Minister-designate took time to walk down the city lanes to reach restaurant Cafeal, on Wednesday, a day after routing the Congress.
He walked through the narrow lanes sans security, as curious onlookers followed him.
After spending almost ten minutes amidst common people eating ‘paav bhaji’, he went to Varsha Book stall, from where he regularly buys newspapers and magazines.
He purchased a few with headlines roaring out BJP’s historic win, and later proceeded to a star hotel where senior BJP leaders were waiting for him.
He was thereafter elected as a leader of BJP legislative wing and also of the alliance.
On Thursday too, Mr. Parrikar went to the Mahalaxmi Temple, housing a deity which he believes in most. Later he mingled with thousands of Holi revellers at the Azad Maidan, again without any security, and came back fully coloured.
“He is a informal person. When he was Chief Minister, he even went to America with sandals on. He does not crave for posh clothes or style,” Rajendra Desai, a senior journalist, told PTI.
In 2004, when the state was hosting IFFI for the first time, Mr. Desai recalls how Mr. Parrikar donned a simple shirt and trouser to the function amidst celebrities who wore formals.
The two-time Chief Minister had also shocked everyone with his simple ways when he once walked out of the Rajasthan airport.
Senior leader Sushma Swaraj in an election campaign meeting narrated the anecdote.
“One day, I was waiting on an airport in Rajasthan when the staff came rushing to me and asked where is Goa CM (Parrikar) as he was expected to land in the flight.
We started searching for him and saw that Mr. Parrikar was already walking out of the airport with his bag hanging to shoulder without insisting for VVIP treatment,” she said.