Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Goa for a day-long visit to the state on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the state Liberation Day.
The Prime Minister was received at the INS Hansa naval base by Goa Governor P.S. Sreedhran Pillai and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, among other dignitaries.
Modi will witness a sail parade and a fly-past by the Indian Navy at the Miramar beach in Panaji.
On this special occasion, Modi also felicitated freedom fighters and armed forces who participated in 'Operation Vijay' a military operation launched by India to liberate Goa from Portuguese rule in 1961.
“Goa came under Portugal rule when the other major part of the country was ruled by the Mughals. But even centuries later, neither Goa has forgotten its Indianness, nor India has forgotten its Goa,” Modi said.
"I must tell you what he said after my invitation. Pope Francis said, 'This is the greatest gift you have given me'. This is his love for India's diversity, our vibrant democracy," he said.
Modi paid homage to former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar. “He not only took Goa to new heights of development but also expanded Goa’s potential," he said.
“The sincere nature of Goans was reflected in the commitment of Manohar Parrikar who was seen carrying out his duties till his last breath," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth over ₹600 core in Goa.
Among the key infrastructure projects which will be virtually inaugurated by the Prime includes the renovated Fort Aguada complex, a prison where several top freedom fighters were incarcerated by the Portuguese, a superspeciality block at the state's apex health facility, the Goa Medical College, the South Goa District Hospital and the Aviation Skill Development Centre at the upcoming Mopa international airport in North Goa.