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Manohar Parrikar: 5 striking facts to know about this veteran leader

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1.Manohar Parrikar, a master strategist

A master strategist, who could anticipate others’ moves, and a man of his own invention, Manohar Parrikar’s chutzpah couldn’t be matched by anyone. You could love him or hate him, but you couldn’t ignore him.

Whether he was in government or out of it, Parrikar was synonymous with the BJP in Goa.

As he took those giant steps, so did the party: From a mere 4,000 members in 1989, the year when Parrikar plunged into full-time politics, the party has grown to 4.2 lakh members—almost a third of the state’s population.

2.The aam aadmi: Half-sleeved shirt & scooter rides

Manohar Parrikar was the original aam aadmi who rose to become chief minister. His identity in politics, at least for those beyond the state’s borders, was firmly established as a man who wore half-sleeved shirts for any occasion, even his son’s wedding. A man who wore sandals wherever he went, even to Parliament, and who had no problem hopping on to the back of a two-wheeler.

3. An industrialist who turned into a political entrepreneur

Not many know that besides being CM of Goa four times, Manohar Parrikar was an entrepreneur too. Decades before Parrikar rose to national limelight as an astute politician and a close aide of PM Narendra Modi, he worked in his father’s store in Mapusa, where the seeds of his entrepreneurial journey were sown.

Parrikar was a metallurgist by training, with a BTech in metallurgical engineering from IIT-Bombay in 1978, and owned two nondescript hydraulic engineering units, employing over 20 people.

4. Defense minister: Parrikar oversaw 2016 ‘surgical strikes’

Manohar Parrikar’s promotion to the top-tier of national politics shouldn’t have surprised anyone. The Goa chief minister had proved he could deliver, and more importantly, had a big reputation for integrity. So, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on the lookout for a man to head India’sdefensee ministry, the search started and ended with Goa’s M.r Efficient.

Parrikar, after all, seemed a perfect fit for the defence ministry. He ensured there was little scope for scams and scandals in the sensitive ministry, and although he did take some time to learn the ropes, he left an imprint.

5.Courage to smile in the face of the inevitable

Dr. P JAGANNATH – the chairman, department of surgical oncology, Lilavati Hospital says – on February 15, 2018, a VVIP from Goa was likely to come to Lilavati Hospital. He had pain in the abdomen and they were suspecting ‘pancreatic pathology’.

The hospital duly geared up and the VVIP walked in smiling. That was Manohar Parrikar. He was in excellent health, hardly looking sick. I was distressed in the evening that the marker came positive. He did have a ‘pancreatic lesion’. Unfortunately, pancreatic lesions rarely have early symptoms.

 

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