Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday said it was a matter of pride that a person of Goan origin was the head of the state in Portugal.
Parsekar was responding to questions about demands from opposition parties seeking an apology from Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa for atrocities committed by Portugal during the colonial era.
“Even in that sense I feel we Goans should feel proud that people who ruled us for 450 years, long back, today a person of Goan origin is heading entire Portugal,” Parsekar said after meeting Costa who is in Goa on a three-day visit.
“It should be a matter of pride for all of us,” he added.
Goa was ruled by Portugal for 451 years before the coastal state was liberated by the Indian armed forces in 1961. Costa’s father, poet and writer Orlando Costa, hails from Goa but left the state in his youth, to eventually relocate to Portugal.
Parsekar said that he would not like to create controversy by reacting to demands for an apology but said Costa was proud of his Goan origin.
“Look, I don’t like to create controversy particularly on the eve of elections. In fact, this gentleman shows and discloses proudly that his origin is in Goa,” the Chief Minister said.
Parsekar also said that after a busy schedule during the first few legs of his India visit, Costa was in Goa to rest and visit his ancestral home in Margao town, 35 km from Panaji.
“There is nothing specific over two days. You can say he is here for rest. He is going to his ancestral home in Margao. Today, myself and the Deputy Chief Minister met him,” he said.
He added that the discussion with Costa dealt with cooperation in sectors like heritage, tourism, science, oceanography and promotion of Portuguese language.
Parsekar also said he had been invited by Costa to Portugal after the elections in Goa got over.
Talking about the centuries old ties, Parsekar said: “Of course, after liberation we have been doing well, but even then the common civil code has been a gift to this state by Portugal.”
The common civil code is practiced only in Goa