Goa would have been liberated earlier had Sardar Patel lived longer: PM Modi

Goa would have been liberated earlier had Sardar Patel lived longer: PM Modi
PM Narendra ModiFile/ANI

Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that Goa would have been liberated from Portuguese rule much earlier had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel lived for some more time.

Modi was speaking at an event to celebrate Goa Liberation Day, observed on December 19 every year to mark the day Indian armed forces freed the coastal state from Portuguese rule in 1961.

Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been alive for a little more time, Goa would have been liberated earlier, Modi said.

Patel, deputy PM in the Nehru cabinet, died on December 15, 1950. He is credited with the liberation of Marathwada region in Maharashtra from erstwhile Nizam’s rule.

On his recent visit to Rome, Modi said, “Some time ago, I went to Italy and the Vatican City. There I also had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis. I invited him to visit India, to which Pope Francis said This is the greatest gift you have given me. This is his love for India’s diversity, our radiant democracy.” Modi lauded freedom fighters, including those from outside Goa, who fought for the state’s freedom. When India got Independence, they still continued the fight to liberate Goa, he added.

They ensured that the struggle to liberate Goa did not end after India’s independence, he said.

Modi also congratulated the Goa government for topping in various parameters of good governance.

The state has topped on parameters like per capita income, exclusive toilet facility for girls in schools, tap water in every household, door to door waste collection, and food security, he said.

Modi remembered former Goa chief minister late Manohar Parrikar, saying he had understood the potential of the state and nurtured it for welfare of the people.

Parrikar, who was the defence minister during the first term of the Narendra Modi government, died on March 17, 2019 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

During the Liberation Day event, Modi felicitated freedom fighters and veterans of Operation Vijay operation undertaken by the Indian military to liberate Goa.

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