"Never mind in 1947. He should have thought about us at least in 1950," Sawant said
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on January 15 said India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was responsible for the delay in Goa's liberation, and that it was due to him that the state was freed from Portuguese rule 14 years after the rest of the country.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, Sawant, while speaking at 'Know Your Army' programme in Panaji, said if Nehru had "the political will, if he was really concerned about Goans then, and really felt that Goa should have been liberated from the Portuguese then we would have got liberation 14 years earlier".
"Never mind in 1947. He should have thought about us at least in 1950," Sawant said, according to the report.
"Why did we have to live under Portuguese rule for another 14 years, they have now to answer. Thanks to the military services. Goa’s freedom fighters and freedom fighters from around the country, they forced them to send military forces to Goa," Sawant reportedly said.
The Indian Army had liberated Goa in an operation called Vijay. The Portuguese had surrendered without offering any resistance.
The report suggests that Sawant's comments have sparked sharp reactions. Prabhakar Timble, a former State Election Commissioner, said Nehru was acclaimed "internationally as statesman" and he "unified India".
According to the report, experts have also pointed out that an armed annexation of Goa was decided only after diplomatic efforts had failed.
Earlier, the report states that former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had made similar comments, and had said it was because of Nehru's "wrong policies" that Goa's liberation was delayed.
Responding to Sawant's remarks, Congress' Goa chief Girish Chodankar said it is easy for leaders like Sawant and Chouhan to "make statements standing here today"."They do not know what the situation was back then because their parent organisation (referring to the RSS) was not involved in the freedom movement. Even today, they are looking at the issue from a British perspective," the report quoted Chodankar as saying.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.