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Affable Mr Parrikar walks in

He may resemble the quintessential man next door with his unkempt salt-and-pepper hair and loose shirts with big patch pockets, but Manohar Parrikar is as renowned for his administrative acumen as he is for his austerity.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2014 00:09 IST
Zia Haq
Parikkar

He may resemble the quintessential man next door with his unkempt salt-and-pepper hair and loose shirts with big patch pockets, but Manohar Parrikar is as renowned for his administrative acumen as he is for his austerity.

Before the so-called Modi wave swept the country and shored up the BJP for historic electoral wins, Parrikar – who turns 59 next month – was seen as one of the men who could lead the party.

But in 2009, his likening of BJP stalwart LK Advani to “rancid pickle” put paid to his chances of becoming party president.

The technocrat-turned-politician travelled economy class despite being a three-time chief minister of India’s most prosperous state— by per capita income—and hopped inside waiting taxis from airports.

An IIT Bombay graduate, Parrikar first became Goa CM in 2000 when his party toppled the Francisco Sardinha-led government by withdrawing support.

Parrikar had the image of an efficient chief minister without the trappings of power. He is a jovial, amenable face of the Hindu right, who cut his teeth as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak.

Parrikar’s track record as Goa chief minister was a mixed bag. Despite promising zero tolerance for corruption, he was unable to free Goa of its notorious mining scandals and mafia and also failed to bust narco-tourism in the state.

The Justice MB Shah Commission indicted several mining companies in the state over a Rs 35,000-crore scam.

Parrikar is considered a confidant of Modi and stood by him during the party’s decision at a key BJP meet in Goa naming the Gujarat leader as campaign in-charge last year.

He may resemble the quintessential man next door with his unkempt salt-and-pepper hair and loose shirts with big patch pockets, but Manohar Parrikar is as renowned for his administrative acumen as he is for his austerity.

Before the so-called Modi wave swept the country and shored up the BJP for historic electoral wins, Parrikar – who turns 59 next month – was seen as one of the men who could lead the party.

But in 2009, his likening of BJP stalwart LK Advani to “rancid pickle” put paid to his chances of becoming party president.

The technocrat-turned-politician travelled economy class despite being a three-time chief minister of India’s most prosperous state— by per capita income—and hopped inside waiting taxis from airports.

An IIT Bombay graduate, Parrikar first became Goa CM in 2000 when his party toppled the Francisco Sardinha-led government by withdrawing support.

Parrikar had the image of an efficient chief minister without the trappings of power. He is a jovial, amenable face of the Hindu right, who cut his teeth as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak.

Parrikar’s track record as Goa chief minister was a mixed bag. Despite promising zero tolerance for corruption, he was unable to free Goa of its notorious mining scandals and mafia and also failed to bust narco-tourism in the state.

The Justice MB Shah Commission indicted several mining companies in the state over a Rs 35,000-crore scam.

Parrikar is considered a confidant of Modi and stood by him during the party’s decision at a key BJP meet in Goa naming the Gujarat leader as campaign in-charge last year.

(With agency inputs)