Panaji, Jan 15: Goa government will invite Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and host a civic reception for him for being elected to the top post in Portugal, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said today.
Costa, a Goan-origin leader, was appointed the Prime Minister of Portugal in November last year.
"We will have to invite him (to Goa) and felicitate him. He is son of the soil," Parsekar said participating in the motion moved to congratulate Costa, during the state Assembly session here today.
He said Goans still have certain wounds about the long Portuguese rule here. But, that should not stop us from congratulating 'son of the soil' who has attained such a high position in that country.
"There are many in Portugal who disagreed with the dictatorship the country had in the past. Now Portugal has democracy. So we should overcome the memories of the past," Parsekar said.
"By felicitating Costa we will show the large heartedness of the Goans," he said. The motion was passed unanimously in the House today, which is the last day for the ongoing Assembly session.
Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza, sharing his experience with Costa during his Portugal visit three years back, said, "It was then (three years back) that the people were dreaming about Costa being PM of the country."
He demanded that Goa should invite Costa and felicitate him. D'Souza said we should not carry forward the historical differences Goa had with Portugal.
"We should convey new message of new generation of people (Goan)," he said.
Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane concurred with D'Souza and said that the state should invite all the successful Goan 'sons of soil' who have made name for themselves abroad, and felicitate them.
Goa was a Portuguese colony for over 450 years until it was liberated by the Indian Army on December 19, 1961.