Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was alive for a little longer, Goa would have been liberated from the Portuguese Rule much earlier.
Addressing a public meeting organised to celebrate 60th year of Goa Liberation, he said, ”Goa came under Portugal at a time when the other major part of the country was ruled by the Mughals. But even after centuries of distance between time and the upheaval of power, neither Goa has forgotten its Indianness, nor has India forgotten its Goa.”
Recalling sacrifices made by the freedom fighters, he said, ”31 Satyagrahis had to lose their lives in the Satyagraha of Goa Mukti Vimochan Samiti. You think about these sacrifices, about heroes like Punjab’s Veer Karnail Singh Benipal. There was a turmoil within them because at that time a part of the country was still under control, some countrymen had not got freedom even then.”
Praising achievements of the Goa government under Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, the Prime Minister said, ”The natural beauty of Goa has always been its hallmark. But now the government here is empowering another identity of Goa.
Being topper in every work is the new identity of the state. Elsewhere, when the work starts, or the work progresses, Goa finishes it.”
Stating that the coastal state continued to progress and the tourism sector in the state continued to grow even during the pandemic, Modi urged the people of the state to set new goals to achieve greater heights.
He congratulated Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for maintaining pace of development in the state and the Swayampurna Goa programme giving strength to the country.
The prime minister congratulated the state for completing 100 per cent coverage of 1st dose of Covid vaccination to the eligible population.
He said the state achieves its targets on all parameters as soon as they are announced.
Earlier, the prime minister felicitated the freedom fighters and veterans of ‘Operation Vijay’ undertaken by Indian military to liberate the state from Portuguese rule, released Meghdot post card and a coffee table book on Swayampurna Goa.
He also inaugurated five projects in virtual mode. The projects include renovated Fort Aguada jail museum, Super Speciality Block at Goa Medical College (GMC), new South Goa District Hospital, Aviation Skill Development Center at Mopa Airport and Gas Insulated substation at Dabolim-Navelim, Margao, in South Goa.