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Political Storm Over Goa CM's Move to Restore Temples 'Destroyed by Portuguese'

A budget of Rs 20 crore has been allocated by the Goa government to restore temples destroyed by the Portuguese.

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India
2 min read
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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in his address to the state Legislative Assembly on Thursday, 21 July, said that the administration will undertake restoration of the temples destroyed or damaged during the Portuguese rule. "We cannot forget Goa's history. The government's intention is to renovate the temples which were destroyed during the Portuguese regime,” Sawant said.

His statement, however, kicked a political storm in the state as leaders from the Congress and the Goa Forward Party accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of trying to rewrite Goan history.

What is the basis of Sawant's claims and why are temples at the centre of a political slugfest in the state?

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Rs 20 Crore Allocated to 'Rebuild' the Temples

In his address, Sawant also mentioned that a budget of Rs 20 crore has been earmarked to rebuild these temples. In a written reply, Archives and Archeology Minister Subhash Phaldessai, however, stated that a list of religious/Heritage sites destroyed by the Portuguese is not available with the Archeology Department.

"List of religious/Heritage sites destroyed by the Portuguese is not available with Archeology Department. However, several historians have published relevant research on this topic which is available in public domain. Budgetary allocation for restoration of temple is 20 crore for financial year 2022-23,” Phaldessai stated.

'Do Not Attempt to Rewrite History'

Responding to a cut motion on demands of grants for the Social Welfare department, Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai accused the Pramod Sawant-led BJP government of having an agenda behind the temple restoration move.

“Invest in history for the love of the past and don’t try to rewrite history to meet your agenda. Whether we like it or not, we have a rich past. We don’t have to search for something that may or may not exist,” Sardesai said.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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