BJP MLA and former deputy Chief Minister of Goa Francis D’Souza died on Thursday evening. The 64-year-old leader was undergoing treatment at a private hospital near the state capital Panaji after having undergone a surgery for cancer in the USA.
His death has brought the BJP’s strength in the 40-seat state assembly to 13.
South Goa BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar tweeted, “I am deeply saddened by the news…I extend my deepest sympathies to his family. May the departed soul be at peace.”
I am deeply saddened by the news of demise of Ex-Dy. CM #FrancisDsouza. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family. May the departed soul be at peace. RIP.
— Narendra Sawaikar (@NSawaikar) February 14, 2019
State BJP spokesman Damodar Naik said that D’Souza died at the hospital. He was quoted by news agency PTI, “We lost an iconic leader who started his career from scratch as councillor and rose to a topmost post. He is an icon for all the upcoming leaders as to how a person should be, and he was loyal to the party till his last breath.”
Former Goa Choef Minister Digambar Kamat tweeted, “I am deeply pained with the demise of my colleague in Goa Legislative Assembly Adv.Francis D’souza.We both started our political career by getting elected as Councillors and always shared a very hearty relationship. My condolences to his bereaved family,May his soul rest in peace.”
I am deeply pained with the demise of my colleague in Goa Legislative Assembly Adv.Francis D’souza.We both started our political career by getting elected as Councillors and always shared a very hearty relationship. My condolences to his bereaved family,May his soul rest in peace pic.twitter.com/BcXPtIOPvl
— Digambar Kamat (@digambarkamat) February 14, 2019
The state government has announced a day’s holiday on 15 February. A notification by the state government said, “As a mark of respect to the departed soul of Shri Francis D’Souza, former deputy chief minister of the state of Goa, who passed away today, all the state government offices, local/autonomous bodies, public sector undertakings, all educational institutions including the aided institutions shall remain closed on 15/02/2019.”
D’Souza was first elected to the Goa Legislative Assembly in 1999 as Goa Rajiv Congress party candidate. He later joined the BJP and won four consecutive elections in 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 from Mapusa.
D’Souza was appointed deputy Chief Minister of Goa when BJP formed a government in 2012 under Manohar Parrikar’s leadership.