PANAJI: The Goa Assembly on Wednesday condoled the death of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, and two other prominent BJP leaders in the state.
During a special session of the House convened for holding the floor test of the new BJP-led government in Goa, leaders cutting across party lines lauded Parrikar's contribution towards the state's development.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant turned emotional as he recalled his predecessor's contribution in shaping up his political career.
"Today, if I am an MLA and sitting on this chair, I owe it to him," he said.
Sawant, who resigned from the post of Assembly speaker before taking oath as the chief minister on Tuesday, appealed to all members of the House to strengthen his hands and fulfil Parrikar's dreams.
Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo, who presided over the proceedings, passed the condolence motion, saying words were not enough to express grief over the demise of a "visionary leader" like Parrikar.
The motion of condolence for the death of Parrikar, BJP MLA Francis D'Souza and former deputy speaker Vishnu Wagh was moved by BJP MLA Rajesh Patnekar.
He recalled how Parrikar worked for the development of Goa and for the BJP's growth in the state.
The leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said Parrikar made Goa proud by rising to the post of the country's defence minister.
"We should emulate his style of working," he said, lauding his skill of running the government with allies despite not winning the mandate in the 2017 state polls.
Sudin Dhavalikar, who heads the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), an ally of the BJP in Goa, recalled how the late chief minister took the agenda of development from the urban to rural population.
He said the upcoming parallel bridge on Zuari river, located 15 km away from here, will be named after Parrikar and two of its pillars will have his portrait.
Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai, who is also an ally of the BJP, said true to his name 'Manohar', Parrikar won the hearts of people in Goa and as well as in the country.
"He had the courage to smile in face of the inevitable.
We are here to take ahead Parrikar's legacy and this government of Goenkarpoon (Goanness)," he said.
MGP leader Manohar Ajgaonkar and BJP MLA Mauvin Godinho also lauded Parrikar's contribution towards the development of the state.
"It would be very difficult to get another Manohar Parrikar in the state," said Godinho.
Independent MLAs Govind Gawade and Rohan Khaunte also condoled Parrikar's demise.
"Described the late chief minister as the 'father of Goa's modernisation", Khaunte said he groomed many MLAs to be good administrators.
NCP MLA Churchill Alemao recalled Parrikars contribution towards encouraging the football sport in Goa.
"He declared football as the state sport," he added.
Parrikar, 63, died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday.
He was cremated with full state honours on Monday at the Miramar beach here.
Wagh, 53, a veteran writer and former deputy speaker of Goa Assembly, died in South Africa last month while he was on a tour of Cape Town.
D'Souza, 64, former deputy chief minister and sitting BJP MLA, also died last month after a prolonged illness.