PM Modi handpicked Goa’s super CM Manohar Parrikar for the all-important Defence Minister post, and since then there has been nothing but praise coming in for the man of the hour. Take a look at 9 things you may not know about him.
You’ll never find him without his trademark half-sleeved bush shirt, creased trousers and simple footwear. And we mean never! Case in point, his son’s wedding where he welcomed guests in the same attire.
He refused to let personal tragedy come in the way of work. About a month before his swearing-in as the first-time chief minister of Goa, Parrikar’s wife Medha succumbed to cancer. That left Parrikar with the responsibilities of running the state while being a single parent to his two teenage boys. But he put up a brave front and got about discharging his duties as CM.
He doesn’t care for sarkaari benefits. Even after becoming CM, Parrikar continued living in his own modest house and didn’t upgrade to a fancier vehicle, preferring instead to keep using the Innova he was allotted as leader of the opposition.
He’s the real poster boy for aam aadmis. Parrikar always travels in economy class and pays for personal calls from his own pocket. He doesn’t entertain the VVIP treatment meted out to netas. He is famous for using a rickshaw and public transport like a regular person, especially outside Goa.
He’s a workaholic. One of the many traits he shares with PM Modi is his penchant for keeping a punishing schedule of 16-18 work hours every day. For a 58 year old man, that’s impressive.
He is a taskmaster who doesn’t tolerate corruption and is blunt in his dealings. He took on the illegal mining in Goa with gusto, handing out suspensions and cancelling licenses of rogue traders. His clean governance motto leaning saw him suspending block development officers, panchayat secretaries and lower-rank staff. No wonder this squeaky clean CM was branded Goa’s Mr Clean.
Long before anybody could foresee the Modi wave, Parrikar openly backed Modi to be BJP’s choice for PM, becoming the first party functionary to do so. He also branded old soul and Modi opposer L K Advani “a rancid pickle”. His Modi loyalty seems to have been rewarded and how.