Goa

Cong. under Nehru tried to destroy Goa liberation movement: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election campaign rally, ahead of Goa assembly polls, at Mapusa in North Goa, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

Alleging that the Congress under former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership had tried to ‘destroy’ the Goa liberation movement that was fighting to shake off the Portuguese yoke, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lambasted the Congress for never having understood “Goa’s political culture, its aspirations or the dreams of its youth.”

Addressing a rally at Mapusa in north Goa on the penultimate day of election campaigning, Mr. Modi again raked up his recent accusations against the Congress under Nehru of having allegedly delayed Goa’s liberation (finally achieved on December 19, 1961) for nearly 15 years since the country’s Independence in 1947.

“The history of the Congress’ relationship towards Goa has been one of enmity towards the coastal State. There are many things suppressed in history. The truth has not been out for five or six decades. Recently, I had said in Parliament how the Congress [under Prime Minister Nehru] tried to destroy the Goa liberation movement,” said Mr. Modi.

He alleged that what could have been achieved (Goa’s liberation) in hours, the Congress delayed for 15 years.

‘Faced bullets’

“All this while, the ‘satyagrahis’ in Goa kept on tolerating atrocities and facing bullets, but the Congress did not help them. One can listen to Prime Minister Nehru’s speech from the Red Fort wherein he said that a force would not be sent to Goa,” alleged Mr. Modi, remarking that the Congress did not liberate Goa sooner in spite of the country having a strong Army and Navy even then.

He further accused the Congress of hurtling Goa on the path of instability.

“Today on one side, there is a progressive Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] while on the other side, an unstable Congress… On one hand, the BJP is led by a young leader [Chief Minister Pramod Sawant] while on the other, we have the Congress leaders with a proven track record of corruption. Goa’s choice is clear. Its people are with BJP,” said Mr. Modi.

With barely four days left before the 40-seat Goa Assembly goes to the polls (on February 14), Mr. Modi lashed out at the other parties (the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party) in the poll fray, claiming that they had no understanding or vision for the coastal State.

‘No agenda’

“These days, Goans are astonished at seeing some new faces in the poll fray. Such parties are not even aware of the feelings of Goans. They have no agenda, vision nor any understanding of the State. They cannot understand what schemes they will promise, hence they are featuring the BJP’s ongoing works in the State as ‘promises’ in their manifestos,” said the Prime Minister.

Mr. Modi further remarked that the absence of late Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar always affected him whenever he came to Goa, and praised the late BJP MLA of Mapusa, Francis d’ Souza (whose son Joshua is the party’s candidate for this election) as “a true representative of Goan culture and the BJP’s principles.”

The BJP has denied Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar a ticket for this election, compelling the latter to quit the party and contest as an Independent.

Targeting the Congress again, Mr. Modi said that erstwhile regimes in Goa had turned the State into “an ATM for their corruption” while remarking that it was at Panaji’s ‘Vijay Sankalp’ rally in 2014 that he had first given the call for a Congress- mukt Bharat (‘Congress-free India’).

“Goa has its own identity and the State takes into its stride all religions and communities… Those who don’t care about this [read Congress] have made it an ATM for their corruption,” he said.

Inclusive development

Stating that Goa, in the BJP’s parlance, stood for ‘Governance, Opportunity, Aspirations (GOA)‘, the Prime Minister claimed that it was only the BJP that spoke of inclusive development and was the first to look seriously at the coastal State’s progress.

“Earlier, during the Congress rule, there used to be only seasonal tourism in Goa. But the BJP increased facilities so that now we have tourists visiting Goa round the year,” claimed Mr. Modi.

Goa had completed 100% of several of the Central schemes — be it vaccinations or giving free rations to the poorest of the poor, said Mr. Modi, while remarking that these achievements were “not just some government figure but a living example of BJP’s capabilities.”

“Reaching out to all beneficiaries without any discriminatory or selfish politics means secularism in the real sense... reaching out to the very last beneficiary automatically removes the barriers of religion and caste,” said the Prime Minister.


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Printable version | Apr 25, 2022 9:27:59 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/goa-assembly/cong-under-nehru-tried-to-destroy-goa-liberation-movement-modi/article38420155.ece