Goa CM Manohar Parrikar's death: March 18 to be a day of national mourning

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi on August 7, 2018.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi on August 7, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

President of India Ramnath Kovind has condoled the death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar even as no announcement has been made from the Goa Chief Minister's Office. The President's tweet is the only official communication on Mr. Parrikar's passing.

Here are the latest updates:

(With inputs from Prakash Kamat)

11.00 p.m.

Goa Congress condoles Mr. Parrikar's death

The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee has released a statement saying they "deeply mourned the sad demise of Mr. Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa."

In a condolence message, the GPCC recalled the contribution of Mr. Parrikar to the State of Goa, who bravely battled a debilitating illness for over a year.

“The passion and enthusiasm with which he took on the responsibilities either as the Leader of Opposition, as well as the Chief Minister and Defence Minister, will be long remembered by the people of Goa. Our condolences to his family in this time of grief,” said Goa Pradesh Congress president Girish Chodankar in his message.

10.20 p.m.

Seven day mourning period for Goa

The Goa government has declared one day holiday on Monday and seven days of mourning.

The Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has postponed Hiigher Secondary examination papers of Monday.

 

9.50 p.m.

The plan for Manohar Parrikar's final journey

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM: Mr. Parrikar's mortal remains to be kept at the BJP head office, Panjim.

10:30 AM: Mr. Parrikar’s mortal remains to be taken to Kala Academy, Panjim.

11:00 AM to 04:00 PM: Public to pay their final respects to Mr. Parrikar.

04:00 PM: Funeral procession of Mr. Parrikar to Miramar.

04:30 PM: Vidhi at Miramar.

05:00 PM: Final rites

 

9.40 p.m.

 

The Shiv Sena and BJP have postponed party workers' meets at Pune and Navi Mumbai, to be held on Monday, on account of Mr. Parrikar's demise.

- Alok Deshpande

9.20 p.m.

A day of national mourning

The Centre has announced that Monday, March 18 would be a day of national mourning, reports our correspondent Vijaita Singh.

"The National Flag will fly at half-mast in the National Capital and capitals of States and UTs. State funeral shall be accorded to Shri Parrikar. A meeting of the Union Cabinet has been called at 10 am on Monday, March 18," a statement from the Centre said.

 

8.35 pm

 

BJP leaders mourn Parrikar's demise

“Manohar Parrikar ji’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. Parrikar ji’s commitment towards his people and duties was exemplary,” BJP president Amit Shah has tweets

“Parrikar ji has shown the entire nation how a BJP Karyakarta, even during his toughest time, is committed to the philosophy of Nation First, Party Next and Self Last. He will always be remembered for his contributions as India’s Defence Minister and as CM of Goa.

“Entire BJP stands firmly with Parrikar ji’s family. I along with millions of BJP karyakartas and importantly the people of Goa, who were his family, express my deepest condolences. May God give the bereaved family strength to withstand this tragic loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”

Mr. Shah's tweets have retweeted by @BJP4India, the BJP's official twitter handle.

In his message, Home Minister Rajnath Singh says: “Deeply saddened and pained by the demise of my dear friend & Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Manohar Parrikar. He was known for his honesty, integrity and simplicity. He served the nation and the state of Goa with great diligence. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.”

8.25 pm

Rahul tweet

In his tweet Congress president Rahul Gandhi says "I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Goa CM, Shri Manohar Parrikar Ji, 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."

 

8.10 pm

President tweet

President Ramnath Kovind announces the passing away of Goa Chief Minister #ManoharParrikar. "An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, his service  to the people of Goa and of India will not be forgotten," says President Kovind.

There is no confirmation yet from the CMO, Goa.

 

7.10 pm

Parrikar's health condition extremely critical

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's health condition is extremely critical. Doctors are trying their best, the Goa Chief Minister's Office has tweeted.

7 pm

 

Not joining BJP, says Digambar Kamat

Former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has ruled out any possibility of joining the BJP, amid reports that his name discussed as a possible successor to ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. Mr. Kamat has told the media at the Delhi airport that his Delhi visit was purely personal and that he will be returning to Goa by the 7 pm flight.

“I have neither been approached by anybody from BJP nor have I met anybody including BJP national president Amit Shah. I was surprised to see some channels showing that I have joined the BJP. Interestingly, some of them called me later and asked. They could have done it before putting out the news. My phone is accessible,” Mr. Kamat has told the media. When asked why his name was discussed by BJP MLAs, he has said that they should answer. Asked to react to the present situation in the BJP in view of Mr. Parrikar’s deteriorating health, Mr. Kamat has said, “Possibly tomorrow (Monday) evening there could be a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party, I will react after that.”

“These rumours are being spread for over three months now, I don’t know who is doing it and what’s their ulterior motive,” Mr. Kamat says.

 

5 pm

 

Digambar Kamat's name doing rounds, Congress says BJP indulging in speculation

BJP MLAs in Goa have met in Panaji to decide on a successor to ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. “One of the options discussed at the meeting was the possibility of Congress MLA Digambar Kamat joining the BJP by resigning as MLA and taking over as Mr. Parrikar's successor," BJP MLA and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo has said.  Mr. Kamat, who has left for Delhi earlier in the added to the speculations by telling reporters at the Dabolim airport that his visit was a “private” one.

“Digambar Kamat has gone to Delhi to join BJP. He has no other business in New Delhi,” Mr. Lobo insisted while talking to the media.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar, as well as Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, have told The Hindu that Mr. Kamat had prior engagements in Delhi and that the BJP MLAs were spreading rumours. “I will never even doubt about the commitment of Mr. Kamat has for the party. He will stay with the party,” Mr. Chodankar said when asked if he was in touch with Mr. Kamat. “Our party is indeed in talks with Mr. Kamat, but his exit from the Congress has not been finalised. He has worked with the BJP earlier so the transition should not be an issue at all ,” a BJP MLA said on the condition of anonymity.

At the BJP legislators meeting, the MLA said, there was a mixed response from legislators, with some opposing the move and other supporting it.

Mr. Kamat had served as a Cabinet Minister in two coalition governments involving BJP, one of them in 2000 under Mr. Parrikar himself, but quit the party subsequently to join the Congress. In 2007, he served a full term as Chief Minister of a Congress-led coalition government. Mr. Kamat, MLA from Margao in South Goa for several terms, has cases against him under investigation, including an illegal mining scam case as well as Louis Berger consultancy commission scam.

Several attempts made by The Hindu to reach out to Mr. Kamat on his cell could not materialise.

With Mr. Parrikar’s health condition deteriorating for the last two days, the BJP is exploring the choice to succeed him. A group of six MLAs from coalition has said that leadership was the issue of the BJP and they were behind Mr. Parrikar.

1:00 pm

Leadership thinking on 'political transit phase', says BJP

The BJP said it is "already thinking on Goa political transit phase" even as the party asserted that the State government was "stable" and warned people against rumours.

"Our BJP leadership in Delhi and Goa are very strong, stable and are already thinking on Goa political transit phase," BJP's State media coordinator Sandesh Sadhale said in a statement.

"We will come out of all the things with greater success. Do not believe in any rumours or any news being spread via social media," he added.

State Minister Vijai Sardesai met Mr. Parrikar on March 16 at his private residence at Dona Paula near in Panaji and said his health had "deteriorated", but he was "stable".

Later in the evening, the BJP held a meeting of its MLAs to discuss the political situation arising out of the health condition of Mr. Parrikar, who has been ailing since February 2018.

A BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, said all party MLAs have been asked not to leave the State.

"It was specifically told to all the MLAs [in meeting on March 16] that we should not leave the state," he told PTI.

Mr. Sardesai had earlier ruled out the possibility of any new political formations in the state in the wake of Mr. Parrikar's health condition. — PTI

12:00 pm

Goa BJP core committee to meet again today

The Goa Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) core committee is scheduled to meet today as well.

Party sources said that two Central functionaries of the party were expected to arrive in Goa to oversee the meeting of party MLAs and the core committee.

Several BJP leaders on Saturday had said that the condition of Mr. Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, was critical.

Core committee member and former BJP Minister Dayanand Mandrekar said on Sunday, “We will also be discussing that. If Manohar Parrikar was well, there would be no need to change the leader. But because his health is critical now and there is day to day deterioration in his health the party has to take some decision."

He said, "If the government has to be run you need a Chief Minister, you need a Cabinet leader."

Dy. Speaker and BJP MLA Michael Lobo had said on Saturday evening that the doctors examining ailing Chief Minister were not saying he will recover. "Mr. Parrikar is very ill since last (Friday) night and doctors are examining him repeatedly and they aren't saying that he will recover," Mr. Lobo said, after attending a meeting of BJP MLAs at the party's state headquarters in Panaji late on Saturday. 

Mr. Parrikar  was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2018.

 

Congress stakes claim to form govt.

The Congress on Saturday asked Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to dismiss the government led by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar as “it has lost the strength of the House” following the death of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza and asked her to invite the party to form the government.

It also urged her “not to bring the State under President’s Rule as it would be a violation of the Constitution”. In a letter to the Governor, Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said the coalition government, led by Mr. Parrikar, was now in a “minority”.

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