NEW DELHI: Parliament on Monday paid tributes to the valiant freedom fighters and soldiers who laid down their lives during Liberation of Goa, Daman and Diu from Portuguese rule 50 years ago.
“It was on December 19, 1961 that the Indian armed forces launched Operation Vijay and liberated Goa, Daman and Diu from the shackles of Portuguese rule,” the Lok Sabha Speaker, Ms Meira Kumar said.
In Rajya Sabha, the Chairman, Mr Hamid Ansari extended felicitations on his behalf and that of the entire House to the people of Goa on the occasion.
Mr Ansari also paid tribute to Tristao de Braganza Cunha who is considered as the ‘Father of Goa’s Liberation movement’.
In the Lok Sabha, members from Goa, Mr Francisco Sardinha (Congress) and Mr Shripad Naik (BJP) recalled the contribution of Cunha, whose portrait was unveiled in Parliament.
The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee recalled the contribution of the then Lok Sabha members Prof Sardeshpande and Tridib Chowdhury who were jailed during the Goa Liberation.
The leader of the Opposition, Ms Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of pension for nine freedom fighters from Jammu and Kashmir who took part in Goa Liberation. She said eight of these freedom fighters were still alive and had not received pension.
Ms Swaraj requested Mr Mukherjee ensure that their contribution in Liberation of Goa gets recognition while they are alive.
The NDA convenor, Mr Sharad Yadav objected to Mr Mukherjee not mentioning the contribution of socialist leader, Ram Manohar Lohia made to the Goa Liberation.
“It is wrong to distort history (itihaas main kaatna, chaatna theek nahi hai),” he said.
The Samajwadi Party chief, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, AIADMK leader, Mr M Thambidurai, Ramchandra Dom (CPI-M), Mr Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP), Mr Sanjeev Naik (NCP), Mr E V K S Elangovan (DMK), Ms Ratna De (AITC), Mr Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena) also offered tributes to the martyrs of the Goa Liberation struggle.
Mr Elangovan said that DMK founder C N Annadurai had met Pope and asked him to intervene in release of freedom fighters jailed in Portugal.
Mr Bhratruhari Mahtab (BJD) said families of several freedom fighters were languishing in poverty in Goa and the Centre should take adequate steps to help them.
The SP chief recalled the contribution of Madhu Limaye, Jagannath Joshi to the Goa Liberation struggle.
The House also congratulated the people of Goa, Daman and Diu on the occasion of completing 50 years of freedom and conveyed its best wishes to them in their march towards prosperity and all round development.