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Parrikar cremated with state honours; thousands bid adieu

Parrikar cremated with state honours; thousands bid adieu

PANAJI: Manohar Parrikar -- Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister -- was cremated with full state honours at Panjim's Miramar Beach on Monday evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a battery of ministers from the Centre and states were present on the occasion to pay their last respects to the leader.

Parrikar died on Sunday evening after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. The news was announced in tweet by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Thousands had joined the funeral procession -- a testimony to the affection he received from the people of the seaside state, that ultimately made him its tallest leader.

On Monday, accompanied by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, PM Modi flew down to Panjim to pay his last respects to Manohar Parrikar and meet his family.

BJP chief Amit Shah and most chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states were also present at the funeral.

The Centre has announced national mourning on Monday, during which schools and colleges remained closed.

Parrikar's health had been fluctuating over the last year. Over the last few months, he made rare public appearances. But he was present at the state assembly in January during the presentation of the state budget.

Hooked to a nasal tube and looking frail, had had made the speech, triggering Congress accusations that the BJP was parading him around despite his ailment to save its government in the state.

In January, the four-time chief minister had said he would "serve Goa till my last breath".

His death has triggered a huge political churning in the state. While allies who came on board after the 2017 assembly elections because of Parrikar, have started having second thoughts, the Congress has staked claim to the government, claiming the BJP no longer commands majority.

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