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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Goa liberation sooner had Patel lived longer: PM Modi

🔴 Patel was instrumental in the integration of the country’s states into the Union of India after independence. He died in December 1950.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Talegaon |
December 20, 2021 3:22:44 am
Narendra Modi, Goa, Goa news, Goa liberation, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, Taleigaon, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsPrime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage at Martyrs’ Memorial in Panaji on Sunday. (ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Goa would have been liberated from Portuguese rule much earlier than 1961, had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel lived longer.

Modi was in Goa on the occasion of the state’s 60th liberation day. Addressing an event at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Taleigaon, he congratulated Goans on the diamond jubilee of the state’s liberation and said, “On this occasion, I will also say that if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had lived a few more years, then Goa would not have to wait so long for its liberation.”

Patel was instrumental in the integration of the country’s states into the Union of India after independence. He died in December 1950.

In a 30-minute address, Modi switched to Konkani more than once, which was followed by loud cheers and applause from the crowd. The stadium was also filled with chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Modi, Modi’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Starting off by saying “Samasta Goenkar bhava bahinink maaymogacho yeukar [A very warm welcome to my dear brothers and sisters], Modi spoke of the many revolts while Goa was under Portuguese rule, as well as the contribution of its freedom fighters. The PM also spoke of his visit to the Vatican City and said he had extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India. “I would surely like to tell you what he (Pope) said after my invitation. Pope Francis said, ‘This is the greatest gift you have given me’. This is his affection towards India’s diversity and our vibrant democracy,” Modi said.

He also felicitated freedom fighters and veterans of ‘Operation Vijay’ – the two-day tri-service military operation that led to Goa’s liberation.
Modi also remembered late defence minister and CM Manohar Parrika and said: “He not only took Goa to new heights, but also expanded its potential. How can one remain devoted to his state, his people till his last breath? We saw this in his life,” Modi said.

Earlier, Modi laid a wreath at the Martyrs’ Memorial at Azad Maidan in Panaji and attended a fly-past at Miramar beach.

The PM also inaugurated development projects, including the Super Speciality Block at Goa Medical College and the Aviation Skill Development Centre at Mopa Airport. He also laid the foundation stone for the India International University of Legal Education.

Modi also lauded CM Pramod Sawant: “The natural beauty of Goa has always been its hallmark but now the government here is cementing another identity. This new identity of the state is that of being the foremost in every task of governance,” Modi said.

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