Panaji, Dec 15: Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel lived longer, Goa would have been freed from the Portuguese yoke in 1948, said Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar here Sunday.
He also lambasted Jawaharlal Nehru for his handling of the Kashmir issue.
Parrikar was addressing a crowd which had gathered here to participate in the ‘Run for Unity’ event held to mark Independent India’s first home minister’s 63rd death anniversary.
“If he (Patel) was around for a few years, we would not have had to wait for 1961. If Patel was alive, Goa would have been freed in 1948. The rest of the leaders at the time could not free Goa,” Parrikar said.
Goa was a Portuguese colony for over 400 years until India liberated it in 1961 using military force.
Parrikar also chided India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, by comparing his handling of the Kashmir issue with the swift manner in which Patel managed to integrate the princely state of Hyderabad into the Indian fold.
“Nehru took the Kashmir issue to the international forum and look at what is happening now. The Kashmir issue is still hanging. Kashmir is still not fully (integrated) in India. Patel freed Hyderabad in 24 hours,” Parrikar said.