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I was a Marxist and Parrikar an RSS Man But Ideology Never Bothered Our Friendship: Sudheendra Kulkarni

Kulkarni recalled Parrikar as an organised, popular leader since their college days at IIT Bombay and then at BJP. Both remained loyal to their ideologies but never allowed their beliefs to hamper the relationship they shared.

D P Satish | News18.comdp_satish

Updated:March 18, 2019, 9:40 AM IST
I was a Marxist and Parrikar an RSS Man But Ideology Never Bothered Our Friendship: Sudheendra Kulkarni
File photo of Manohar Parrikar

Bengaluru : Manohar Parrikar and I studied together at IIT - Bombay in the mid-1970s. He was a year senior to me. We were staying in the same hostel. My room number was two and his room number was four. It was just a block away.

Manohar was a very popular student in IIT campus. Everybody knew him. He was known for his organisational skills and capabilities.

He was part of all academic and political activities at the IIT.

Ideologically Parrikar and I were diagonally opposite to each other. I was a Marxist and he was a staunch RSS man.

We used to debate a lot over our ideologies. But it never came in the way of our friendship.

After Prime Minister Indira Gandhi lifted Emergency in 1977, general elections were declared to Parliament.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy was Janata Party candidate from our constituency in Bombay. In that election both Parrikar and I had campaigned for Dr. Swamy. I campaigned as a Marxist and Parrikar an RSS man!

We were thrilled and campaigned for weeks in and around Powai.

After we left IIT Parrikar and I stayed in touch. In 1997, I joined the BJP - Parrikar's party. He was already a very popular BJP leader even though he was from a very small state Goa.

He had a big vision for Goa and India. During CM's conferences convened by the PM AB Vajpayee, Manohar was a star speaker.

He had a lot of ideas. Since I knew him as a teenager, it was not a surprising thing for me.

We worked closely in the BJP, till I quit the party in 2013,

Party politics never came in the way of our friendship. It lasted till his death this evening.

(As told to D P Satish by Sudheendra Kulkarni, former advisor to PM Vajpayee and later national secretary of BJP)

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| Edited by: Aditya Sharma
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