Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer on Sunday evening at the age of 63. Expressing grief over the demise of Manohar Parrikar, Union Minister Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore remembered the times when he got the opportunity to learn a lot from the former Defence Minister during his tenure in the Union Cabinet.
Speaking to reporters, Col Rathore spoke about the diligent efforts of Manohar Parrikar in the successful implementation of the One Rank With Pension initiative started by PM Modi.
"I had the opportunity to learn a lot from him when became the Defence Minister at the Central government. Parrikar ji fulfilled the OROP (One Rank With Pension) initiative started by PM Modi with utmost diligence. There were roadblocks in the implementation of the OROP programme, but it was his efforts which detangled the roadblocks and implemented the OROP efficiently and effectively," Col Rathore said.
Sharing an anecdote when surgical strike was conducted by the country on terror outfits in the aftermath of Uri, the Union Minister spoke on how Manohar Parrikar stood by the Prime Minister in thick and thin through his efforts. Regarding the former Defence Minister as a simple man with a vision, Col Rathore shares on how he connected with the people with ease.
"Then when a tough response was needed to be given to the terror attacks, Manohar Parrikar ji stood beside PM Modi in his efforts with strong mind and support. He proved himself with utmost dignity. A visionary and a simple man, who at times used to leave his security and interact with people - it was his nature that used to win the hearts of the people. His technical knowledge was quite strong so be it administration or his own nature, or it was the need to improve upon the governance or to connect with people - he had been number one in everything. I read somewhere where he said that he never wanted to enter into politics. It felt like somebody pushed me into the river, but I crossed the river quite successfully," he added.
Later he said, "It is definitely saddening that we have lost such a prominent figure. It is not only a loss for BJP and Goa, but for the entire country."
Earlier on Sunday, the Union Minister shared a tweet on social media expressing condolences on Manohar Parrikar's demise, saying that it is 'an irreplaceable loss to the people of nation and to the people of Goa.
The country is observing a day of national mourning on March 18 on account of the former Union Defence Minister's demise, with the state of Goa to observe a week's mourning. His last rites are set to be performed at 5 pm on Monday, with the Prime Minister and other senior central ministers set to attend.