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Congress and Bharat Todo politics: South Goa candidate says Rahul Gandhi agreed with him when he said ‘Constitution was forced on Goa’

In the video of his speech, Viriato Fernandes further says that Rahul Gandhi had asked him whether his demand (dual citizenship) was constitutional, to which he replied, "The constitution was forced on the people of Goa. Indian Constitution came into existence in 1950, but Goa was not a part of India then. Goa was made a part of India years later and the constitution was forced on us Goans. Rahul Gandhi then said, ok, you have a point."

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress candidate for South Goa Captain Viriato Fernandes has sparked a controversy by fanning separatist sentiments in Goa in his speech. During a public address, Viriato Fernandes was seen telling the people that he had met Rahul Gandhi before the 2019 elections and had told him that the people of Goa prefer dual citizenship (Indian and Portuguese).

In the video of his speech, Viriato Fernandes further says that Rahul Gandhi had asked him whether his demand (dual citizenship) was constitutional, to which he replied, “The constitution was forced on the people of Goa. Indian Constitution came into existence in 1950, but Goa was not a part of India then. Goa was made a part of India years later and the constitution was forced on us Goans. Rahul Gandhi then said, ok, you have a point.”

I am appalled at Congress’ Bharat Todo politics, says Goa CM Pramod Sawant

Responding to Viriato Fernandes’ claims, Goa CM Pramod Sawant shared that he is appalled at the statement by the Congress candidate.

“Our freedom fighters believed wholeheartedly that Goa is an inseparable part of India. Congress delayed Goa’s liberation by 14 years. Now, their candidate dares to undermine the Indian Constitution? Congress must stop this reckless Bharat Todo politics immediately. Congress is a threat to our democracy”, Pramod Swant posted on X.

Pramod Sawant’s post on X

It is notable here that Goa was under Portuguese rule till 1961. After the British left India, there were widespread protests and a long freedom struggle to liberate Goa from the Portuguese colonizers.

PM Modi highlighted how Nehru delayed Goa’s liberation

Former Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru had for long refused to send the Indian armed forces to liberate Goa from Portuguese rule, and had even gone to the extent of vilifying the Indian freedom fighters as lawless elements trying to disrupt peace. He was so inclined to protect his international image of a ‘peace-loving’ leader that he had declared from the Red Fort that he wouldn’t send forces to help the people of Goa.

Nehru had even warned and shamed the freedom fighters and leaders that their efforts would get no support from the Indian government. Besides not letting the army perform its task to liberate fellow Indians from foreign rule, Nehru also opposed other revolutionaries from India who wanted to join the struggle to liberate Goa. A newspaper clipping from the late 1960s had reported the All India Congress Committee approving a resolution to call back Satyagrahis (peaceful protestors) to Indian soil. It read, “Any entry into  Goan soil by Indian Nationals will be inappropriate, and even individual Satyagrahas should be avoided”.

PM Modi in his parliament address in 2022 highlighted how Nehru had delayed Goan liberation.

PM Modi had quoted from Nehru’s own speech, highlighting how he had abandoned fellow countrymen and discouraged their struggle for freedom. Nehru had shown similar hesitation and reluctance in the annexation of other Indian territories, like Hyderabad and Junagarh. It is due to decisive leadership of Sardar Patel and action by the Indian Army that these territories of the Indian mainland were retained as territories of the Indian Republic.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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