Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for not sending armed forces to liberate Goa from Portuguese rule for 15 years only to protect his "peace-loving global image".
A week before Goa goes to polls to elect a new assembly, Modi also used his reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address in Rajya Sabha to attack the Congress on freedom of speech and how it had sacked Lata Mangeshkar's younger brother from All India Radio for presenting a patriotic poem of Veer Savarkar.
He also cited the example of noted lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for jailing him for speaking against Nehru.
Modi also charged Nehru with leaving the satyagrahis, fighting for Goa's freedom, in lurch and using the independence address to attack their movement.
"It has been 60 years of Goa liberation. People of Goa must be listening to me today. The way Sardar Patel made a strategy for Hyderabad and Junagad, if the same spirit was followed for Goa as well, then it would not have stayed under foreign rule for 15 years after India got independence. The state got liberated after 15 years of the country's independence," Modi stated.
Citing media reports of that period, he noted that Nehru did not take any action against the Portuguese occupation of Goa, as he thought that it would harm his international image.
"This was his, Pandit Nehru's biggest fear. He thought that invading the foreign government would lead to destruction of his peace-loving global image. Let Goa suffer but my image should not get dented, he thought," Modi stated in the Upper House.
He further said: "When satyagrahis were being fired upon by a foreign power, my Indian brothers and sisters were facing bullets, at that time our prime minister said that I will not send the Army. He declined to help the satyagrahis. This is the torture meted out to Goa's people by the Congress party. This led to 15 years more of foreign rule in Goa. Many brave souls had to lose their lives because of this."
Modi also referred to Nehru's speech on August 15, 1955, where he said that no army help would be sent to help the protesting satyagrahis and the matter would be resolved peacefully.
"People of my country were left helpless, this is what they did with Goa. The people of Goa cannot forget this attitude of the Congress party," Modi added.
He also attacked the Congress for meting out harsh treatment to Lata Mangeshkar's family.
"Her family belongs to Goa. Let me tell how they (Congress) treated her family, the country should know that. Lata Mangeshkar's younger brother Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar was fired from All India Radio. His fault was that he recited a patriotic poem of Veer Savarkar. He was fired from All India Radio in eight days, this is your freedom of expression," he said, attacking the Congress party.
Election for the 40-seat assembly in Goa will be held on February 14 and votes will be counted on March 10.