PANAJI: Goa BJP on Friday took objection to Union Railways and Commerce Minster Piyush Goyal's utterances last week about turning Goa into a "mini Portugal".
Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Friday, state Bharatiya Janata Party president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said, that the party "did not like what he said", but also added that Goyal may have worded the phrase erroneously.
"He was speaking in terms of development. We did not like what was said, but what he was perhaps trying to say (by mini Portugal) was with reference to development. His wording may have been erroneous," Tanavade said, when asked to react to Goyal's statement made at a business conclave in Mumbai, at which Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was also in attendance.
Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) meeting in Mumbai on February 15, Goyal has been quoted as saying: "I believe if we were to work together to create a mini-Portugal in Goa, we could truly make it a preferred destination for visitors from around the world".
Goa was a Portuguese colony for a period of 451 years, before the region was liberated by the Indian armed forces in 1961. Positive references to Portugal made by a section of the state's intelligentsia, have invariably triggered divided and animated opinions in recent times, with Sawant himself at a Republic Day parade in 2018, warning those who utter the popular phrase 'Viva Portugal'.