MAPUSA: On Friday politicians, party workers, well-wishers and people from the constituency flooded the residence of former deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza at Mapusa in condolence.
Among those who paid respects and floral tributes to the deceased on Friday included Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who himself has been ailing for long. Others included TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai, ex-MLA from Navelim Avertano Furtado, ex-MLA from Calangute Agnelo Fernandes, ex-MLA from Aldona Dayanand Narvekar, ex-MLA from Benaulim Caitu Silva, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) President Deepak Dhavalikar; former Union law minister Ramakant Khalap and others.
Speaking to media outside D’Souza’s residence, Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant pointed out that BJP karyakatas as well the people from across Goa were attached to him. “Being a senior leader there was a lot that could be learnt from him and he would guide others as well. He was of great help in getting the BJP to penetrate through the minority community in the State. I pray that his soul may rest in peace,” Sawant said.
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo said that the loss of the former deputy CM is very big for the State of Goa. “He has touched and helped a lot of people in different ways. His contributions will not be forgotten by the people of Mapusa and across Goa. A leader, who, I always looked up to. He was the first minority leader to join the BJP around 24 years ago and successfully won four elections. He showed us that even the minorities have a place in the BJP in Goa. He was instrumental in taking me to the BJP office and getting me enrolled,” Lobo stated.
The youngest sister of Francis D’Souza, Gracy Desai said that the death of her brother has left the family heartbroken. “My respect for him was more as my brother rather than a politician. He was a pillar of strength to all his sisters. We will dearly miss him and he will always live in our hearts,” she said.
Earlier on Thursday former CM, Laxmikant Parsekar, Power Minister, Nilesh Cabral, Mapusa councillors and others paid their respects to the former deputy CM. All political bigwigs from across the state are expected to attend the funeral on Saturday.