Manohar Parrikar: The Gentleman Politician

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 31, 2013 07:31 hrs

Panaji: The new technocrat Chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, has his own beliefs when it comes to starting certain things.

He has immense faith in Goddess Mahalaxmi and he believes that works done on his lucky day Friday fetches him good results. Parrikar filed his nomination Friday, Feb 10 and also swore in as Chief Minister on Friday too (March 9).

He took over the reigns of Goa seven years after his government was edged out, after it became a victim of defection in 2005. The March 6 results has scripted BJP's historic win becoming the single largest party with 21 seats. BJP-MGP (24 seats) and two independents have staked the claim to form the government.

Its main rival Congress suffered a crushing defeat as it was reduced to a single digit tally - 9 seats.

The IITian, known for his forthrightness and development initiatives, is most likely keep Home, Finance and Education portfolios with himself. In 2004, Goa earned glamorous reputation when Parrikar under his chief ministership brought International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to the state, making it a permanent venue.

The otherwisetourist-hub, the coastal state had gained in stature after for the first time that year hosting IFFI with all the glitz and glamour. However, when Congress-led coalition formed its government, it charged Parrikar of siphoning crores of rupees in constructing infrastructure for IFFI in 2004.

The then Deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho filed a criminal case against him in the Panjim police station which was then transferred to the CBI. The case was based on the findings of Comptroller Auditor General (CAG).

The CBI which probed Parrikar under relevant sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 dropped all charges against him as it could not find evidence to prosecute the 57-year-old BJP leader.

Parrikar held the reigns of the state twice earlier before the present victory.

He became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on Oct 24, 2000, but his tenure lasted only till Feb 27, 2002. On June 5, 2002, he was re-elected and once again became the Chief Minister.

On Jan 29, 2005, his government was reduced to a minority in the assembly after four BJP MLAs resigned. He however managed to prove his majority in the 40-seat. But he faced defeat in 2007 before becoming victorious in March 2012.

Best known for his simplicity, the IITian always kept his personal life separate from his professional life.

His family suffered a major loss when his wife Medha, in her early 40s, died of cancer in the fag end of year 1999. The tragedy came just about a month before his swearing-in as the first time chief minister of Goa. Parrikar, although shattered by the death of his wife, not only meticulously exercised powers as CM but also as a good family man.

"He dedicated his whole self to the overall welfare of the state even during his bad phase. He also set a good example as single parent to his teenaged sons Utpal and Abhijat," family sources said.

As a good father, Parrikar would take his sons to eat bhelpuri at Miramar beach in his private vehicle, monitor their studies, go on outing and take care of the entire family as well.

His older son Utpal after completing engineering studies in Goa and advanced studies abroad settled here looking after the family business. Abhijat is currently pursuing management studies in the US. Even as a CM during his previous two tenures, the Panaji representative lived in his ancestral house at Mapusa, 13 kms from the capital.

"He used the official residence as office to hold meetings and for visitors. He never detached himself from the family or neglected family responsibilities. He still lives in a joint family comprising of brothers Avdut and Suresh, their families; son Utpal and daughter-in-law Uma," Parrikar's close aide told IBNS.