Goa Would Have Been Liberated Earlier Had Sardar Patel Lived Longer

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New Delhi: Addressing the Goa Liberation Day event, 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.

Goa Liberation Day is celebrated on December 19 every year to mark the success of ‘Operation Vijay’ undertaken by the Indian Armed Forces that liberated Goa from Portuguese rule.

“Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been alive for a little more time, Goa would have been liberated earlier,” PM Modi said, as reported by news agency PTI.

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Sardar Patel who served as the deputy prime minister in the Nehru cabinet had died on December 15, 1950. He is credited with the liberation of Marathwada region in Maharashtra from erstwhile Nizam’s rule.

PM Modi lauded freedom fighters, including those from outside Goa, who fought for the coastal state’s freedom.

When India got Independence, they still continued the fight to liberate Goa, he mentioned.

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

Addressing a gathering at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium for the Goa Liberation Day celebrations, PM Modi said: “India has a spirit where the nation is above the ‘self’ and is paramount. Where there is only one mantra – nation first. Where there is only one resolve – Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.”

“The land of Goa, the air of Goa, the sea of ​​Goa, has been blessed with a wonderful gift of nature. And today, this enthusiasm of the people of Goa, is adding to the pride of liberation,” the Prime Minister added, as quoted by news agency ANI.

He further said: “I also had the privilege of paying homage to the martyrs at the Shaheed Memorial at Azad Maidan. After paying homage to the martyrs, I also witnessed the cell parade and fly past in Miramar. I got an opportunity to honor the veterans of Operation Vijay”.

The Prime Minister recalled that Goa came under Portugal at a time when other major parts of the country were ruled by the Mughals.

“Countless political storms and turbulence has been witnessed by Goans. 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. This is a relationship that has only grown stronger with time,” he said, as quoted by ANI.

He further said that “the people of Goa also did not allow the movements for liberation and Swaraj to stop. They kept the flame of freedom burning for the longest time in the history of India. This is because India is not just political power. India is an idea, a family that stands for protecting the interests of humanity”.

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PM Modi Inaugurates Development Projects, Felicitates Freedom Fighters

On the occasion of Goa Liberation Day celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated multiple development projects at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium on Sunday. He felicitated the freedom fighters and veterans of ‘Operation Vijay’ at the event.

He inaugurated multiple development projects including the renovated Fort Aguada Jail Museum, Super Specialty Block at Goa Medical College, New South Goa District Hospital, Aviation Skill Development Center at Mopa Airport and the Gas-insulated Substation at Dabolim-Navelim, Margao.

He also laid the foundation stone for the India International University of Legal Education and Research of Bar Council of India Trust at Goa.

The Prime Minister released a Special Cover and Special Cancellation to mark the commemoration of the Indian Armed Forces freeing Goa from Portuguese rule.

He also awards to the best Panchayat/Municipality, Swayampurna Mitras and distributed beneficiaries of Swayampurna Goa Programme.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

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