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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.

Modi was speaking at an event to celebrate Goa Liberation Day, observed on December 19 every year to mark the day Indian armed forces freed the coastal state from Portuguese rule in 1961.

Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been alive for a little more time, Goa would have been liberated earlier, Modi said.

Patel, deputy PM in the Nehru cabinet, died on December 15, 1950. He is credited with the liberation of Marathwada region in Maharashtra from erstwhile Nizam's rule.

Modi lauded freedom fighters, including those from outside Goa, who fought for the state's freedom. When India got Independence, they still continued the fight to liberate Goa, he added.

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

Modi also congratulated the Goa government for topping in various parameters of good governance.

The state has topped on parameters like per capita income, exclusive toilet facility for girls in schools, tap water in every household, door to door waste collection, and food security, he said.

Modi remembered former Goa chief minister late Manohar Parrikar, saying he had understood the potential of the state and nurtured it for welfare of the people.

During the event, Modi felicitated freedom fighters and veterans of Operation Vijay operation undertaken by the Indian military to liberate Goa. Modi said Goa came under Portugal rule when a major part of the country was ruled by Mughals, but centuries later, neither has Goa forgotten its Indianness, nor has India forgotten Goa.

The PM, who reached here this afternoon to participate in the celebrations marking 60 years of the coastal state's liberation from Portuguese rule, also witnessed a fly past and sail parade at Miramar.

Goa Liberation Day is observed on December 19 every year to mark the day Indian armed forces freed Goa in 1961.
 

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