Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the duty he carried out as Defence Minister of the country may be considered as a repayment of the ‘loan’ the state owed to the Indian defence forces who liberated the state from Portuguese rule.
Speaking a panel discussion at Goa IT Day celebration in the city, he said, ”I went to Delhi because I was needed for sometime probably. But I think when it came to matters of Goa I decided that my destination is Goa. Right from beginning I never thought of going to Delhi. I was asked to come there and I did my job pretty well.
“So I have done my duty for the nation. Maybe that was a loan Goa owed, payback because of December 19, when the Indian army liberated the state. I think that was a debt which I had to pay back. I paid back and came back to Goa because my heart was always in Goa,” he said.
He said lot of things were done during his tenure as defence minister introduction of Tejas fighter aircraft and of course surgical strikes.
“Lot of things have been done during my tenure as a Defence Minister, which are now ensuring that… Make in India for example was one of the best. Tejas fighter aircraft has been introduced because of my efforts. It was not going anywhere. It was stuck up. Fighter helicopter version has been developed during my tenure. There may be so many things, I cannot list them. But India becoming stronger and the most important aspect was the surgical strikes, both sides. That was a decision which was required. Of course, the surgical strikes have been carried out by armed forces, but the political decision, with help and support of Prime Minister was required. Extensive planning was required. My specialty came into that,” he said.
In December 1961, all the three armed forces–Army, Navy and Air Force– acted together and liberated Goa from the Portuguese rulers.
In 2014, Parrikar was made Defence Minister when National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power at the Centre. But in 2017, he came back to the state politics and was sworn-in as chief minister of the state after assembly elections which threw hung assembly.