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Defence forces’ role in Chennai floods commendable: Parrikar

Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today lauded the role of defence forces during the Chennai deluge, saying the coordination between the Army and Air Force was commendable.

“When Chennai was receiving unprecedented rains, I coordinated and made sure that Army and Air Force rush there. The coordination was commendable,” Parrikar said while addressing the civic reception hosted here to celebrate his 60th birthday.

He made this statement as a response to the demand of opposition Congress to cancel his birthday celebrations in the wake of recent calamity in Chennai.

Parrikar said he had acted on time during the floods as the Head of the Defence Ministry.

“Army and Air Force coordination was perfect during the Chennai floods. We rescued several people who were stranded on the buildings,” he said, adding, even during Nepal earthquake, defence forces provided apt support in unified manner that included evacuating people stuck on their way to Mount Everest.

“I don’t want certificate from the Congress. I have got certificate from the people,” he said.

“…I thought to accept the reception only because several people wanted to greet me. I am against celebrating birthdays,” he added.

The former chief minister, on the occasion, rubbished reports that he is contemplating retirement from active politics.

“Some people want that I should retire, but I won’t. I had never said that I would retire. I will not get retired till I complete my responsibility. While doing my responsibility, I will give complete support to Goa,” he said.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Highways and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar were also present on the occasion.