Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said that the duty he carried out as defence minister could be considered a repayment of the "loan" his state owed to India's armed forces for its liberation from the Portuguese.
"India is becoming stronger...and the most important aspect was the surgical strike. That was of course done by the armed forces, but a political decision was taken with the help and support of the prime minister, which was required," Parrikar said in response to a question.
"So I have done my duty for the nation. Probably, that was a loan that Goa owed, that needed to be paid back. The Indian Army liberated the state (on December 19, 1961)... I think that was a debt which needed to be paid back," he said during an on-stage interaction after inaugurating the Goa Information Technology (IT) Day here.
In December 1961, military action was taken to evict the Portuguese rulers out of the enclaves of Goa, Diu and Daman. This involved the tri-services operations with the Army, Navy and Air Force acting against the Portuguese troops.
Parrikar said he returned to Goa after last year's state assembly elections because his heart was here.
"I went to Delhi because I was needed (there) for some time. But when it came to the matters of Goa, I decided that my destination is Goa. Right from the beginning, I never thought of going to Delhi, I was asked to come there.
"I did my job pretty well. I am satisfied with it. Lot of things have been done during my tenure as defence minister which are now ensuring that...'Make In India' for example was one of the best," he said.
"Tejas fighter aircraft was produced because of my efforts. It was not going anywhere. Fighter helicopter version has been developed during my tenure. There are so many things, I can't list them," he added.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will unveil the IT Policy on Sunday as part of the two-day Goa IT Day.
When asked about his health, Parrikar, who returned home from the US in June after undergoing a three-month treatment for the pancreatic ailment, said people from across the country gave him strength to face the trying times.
"I am a very optimistic person. I am not pessimistic. If I decide something then I have a strong will.
"And most important is the strength given to me by people of the state and across India," he said.
Parrikar said he got many 'get well soon' wishes, "which means people must have prayed in so many places".
"That is also a strength," he added.
In February, Parrikar was initially admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai after being diagnosed with mild pancreatitis. He was discharged after a few days and returned to Goa to present the budget.