PANAJI: For Manohar Parrikar, the BJP’s poster boy in Goa, it’s a homecoming and another stint as chief minister of the coastal state.
Despite failing to secure a simple majority in the assembly polls, the BJP managed to successfully stitch an alliance with two regional parties besides gaining the support of two Independents.
Right from the start of campaigning in the state, the BJP had sent across a subtle message that if it wins, the government would be headed by Parrikar.
Enjoying a man-next-door image in the state, even while holding a major portfolio like Defence at the Centre, 61-year- old Parrikar led the BJP’s campaign from the front, though the party failed to hit the half-way mark of 21 in the 40-member house.
A metallurgical engineer from IIT Bombay, Parrikar, in post-poll days, displayed immense political skill in outsmarting the single largest party Congress in number games by forging a coalition winning over the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party (GFP).
Born in a middle class business family in Mapusa in north Goa, Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar graduated to the BJP from the RSS ranks.
He joined the RSS in his school days and always held that the ideology and training he received from the organisation greatly helped him in public life, most importantly in decision-making.
Parrikar was first elected to the Goa Assembly in 1994. He served as the leader of the opposition from June to November 1999.
In a state known for political swings as well as rise and fall of ministries, Parrikar’s first stint as chief minister was from October 24, 2000 to February 27, 2002. He had his next term at the top slot in the state from June 5, 2002 to January 29, 2005. In 2012, he successfully led the BJP to power and became the chief minister for the third time, which lasted until November 2014 when he was made Defence Minister.
Parrikar, whose wife died in 2001, has two sons– Utpal and Abhijit.