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Had Nehru’s Leadership Been Decisive, Goa Would Have Been Liberated in 1947, Says Amit Shah



Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said had former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership been decisive, Goa would have attained Independence in 1947 like the rest of the country. Addressing a public rally here ahead of the February 14 Assembly polls, Shah said Goa was always subjected to injustice by the Congress. “Be it in attaining Independence or doing development,” he said.

“History is witness. Had Nehru’s leadership been decisive, then Goa, too, would have attained Independence on August 15, 1947 like the rest of the country,” Shah said. Goa was liberated from around 450-year-long Portuguese rule on December 19, 1961. “After a lot of struggle, Goa attained freedom. It took a lot of time to achieve it. Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to Parliament, raised the issue that who is responsible for Goa getting its Independence so late?” he said.

Shah said there are only two options before the voters in Goa – one is Congress party, which is led by Rahul Gandhi, and the second is BJP under PM Modi. “The people of Goa have to decide whom it has to give a mandate of five years. Goa has seen both the regimes. The Congress rule was filled with instability and anarchy, while the BJP gave stability and brought development,” the Union minister said.

Taking at dig at the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) without naming them, “Small to smallest parties are in the fray. The BJP is in power at the Centre under Narendra Modi. These parties have a history. Where they are in power, they have indulged in a fight with the Centre. Modi ji will start a scheme, but they will not let it percolate to the ground level. “The Bengal government does not have Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Yojana. Farmers in Bengal don’t get the money sent by the Centre. Those who prove to be an impediment (in development) have come here in different forms,” he said.

He said the Mamata-Banerjee-led TMC, Congress, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) opposed the nullification of special provisions of Article 370. Shah said, “During the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule, Aalia, Maliya, Jamaliya from Pakistan would infiltrate and chop-off country’s soldiers. The then prime minister Manmohan Singh would sit silently. But after the Uri attack in 2015 and Pulwama attack in 2019, surgical strikes were launched by barging into Pakistan.” The opposition parties, which have come here with different faces and wearing different clothes can carry out development neither of Goa nor the country. They can neither make country prosperous nor secure it. It is only the double-engine government of the BJP that can do it, he added.

Remembering late Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, Shah said he spent all his life striving for the development of the coastal state. Parrikar, who was also served as the defence minister of India, died in 2019. Parrikar’s son Utpal is now contesting as an independent candidate from Panaji after being denied ticket by the party. Shah said in 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019, the people of Goa blessed the BJP. He urged for a “hat-trick goal”, alluding to the third consecutive term for the BJP.

“Next five years will be of prosperity for Goa and make it self-reliant,” he said. The party has made 22 resolutions (to chime with its aim of winning 22-plus seats in the 2022 polls) for Goa’s development. Shah claimed that after the past 10 years of the BJP rule, Goa is ahead in all respects – be it per capita income, having toilet in every house or door-to door collection of garbage.

Goa is the first state in the country that has achieved the target of providing tapped water connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission, he said, adding that it is also the first state to achieve 100 per cent vaccination and it appears safe in the third wave. “The double engine government has done a lot of work for Goa in terms of infrastructure,” he said.

He said in 2013-14, when the Congress was in power at the Centre, Goa had only received Rs 432 crore. From 2014-19, the Centre under PM Modi raised the amount to Rs 2,568 crore. He said that several key infrastructure projects like Atal Setu, Zuari bridge, second airport was undertaken by the BJP governments. From 2009-14, the Centre allocated only Rs 120 crore for road infrastructure but from 2014-2019, besides the Rs 2,500 crore, the Modi government allocated Rs 4,000 crore for the state, Shah said. Elections to the 40-member Goa legislative assembly will be held on next Monday and the counting of votes will take place on March 10.


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