Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning left for Goa to attend the last rites of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who passed away on Sunday evening due to pancreatic cancer.
The PM left for the coastal state after attending a Union Cabinet meeting in which the demise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) icon was condoled.
Meanwhile, thousands of people from across the state thronged the BJP office in Panaji where Parrikar’s mortal remains have been kept for tributes from party workers.
The truck carrying the 63-year-old Chief Minister’s body, wrapped in tricolour, travelled 5 km from his private residence in Dona Paula to Panaji during which hundreds of people tried to catch a last glimpse of the beloved leader who knew even the commonest man in Panaji by name.
The scene at the BJP office was of grief. People emotionally recollected the simplicity of the man who was the first IIT-ian in India’s history to become both an elected MLA and, eventually, a Chief Minister.
His body will be taken to Kala Academy for public tributes that will continue till 4 pm.
From Kala Academy, the funeral procession will proceed to Miramar, where Parrikar’s mortal remains will be consigned to flames at 5 pm. He will be accorded a state funeral with full military honours.
The cremation will be held next to the memorial of Goa’s first chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar, who was also cremated at Miramar beach.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, who reached Panaji on Sunday evening, offered his last respects to the mortal remains of Parrikar at the state’s BJP headquarters on Monday.
According to reports, Gadkari arrived in the coastal state to negotiate with regional parties and independent MLAs for the formation of a new coalition government following Parrikar’s death. But there was no breakthrough despite the meeting continuing until 4.30 am.
Parrikar passed away following a long battle against pancreatic cancer that left a visible impact on his health.
The four-time Goa Chief Minister also served as India’s Defence Minister from 2014 to 2017. He is credited with turning the military into a lean fighting machine with key defence purchases and policy decisions within a short time.
The central government has announced national mourning on Monday. The state government announced a seven-day mourning.