Indian-origin Antonio Costa becomes Prime Minister of Portugal

Antonio Costa, became the new PM of Portugal after a coalition government of left parties reached the majority mark. Known as ‘Babush’ (boy), Costa was born in Lisbon in 1961. His father was a prominent novelist Orlando da Costa, whose writings included essays on Rabindranath Tagore and who had spent his youth in Goa which was under Portuguese rule. Costa’s grandfather was LUis Alfonso Maria da Costa who was a descendant of Hindu family who had converted to Christianity.

Antonio Costa

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Portugal’s new Prime Minister Antonio Costa and said he looks forward to working with him to strengthen bilateral ties. “I congratulate Mr. Antonio Costa on becoming the PM of Portugal. I look forward to working with him to strengthen bilateral ties,” he tweeted. Costa was named Prime Minister on Tuesday at the head of a new Socialist administration, ending more than seven weeks of political turmoil in Portugal after inconclusive elections.

Modi also greeted Mauricio Macri on becoming President of Argentina. “Greetings to Mr. @mauriciomacri on his poll win. Best wishes as he becomes Argentina’s President. India deeply values ties with Argentina,” he said in another tweet. Applauding the appointment of Antonio Costa, a Goan-origin leader, as the Prime Minister of Portugal, former Union Law Minister Ramakant Khalap today said it was “destiny’s revenge” as Goa was once ruled by the European country.

“Destiny perhaps has taken revenge… The ruled has become the ruler…Great day for Goans…,” said Khalap, a Congress leader, in a statement. “Congratulations Antonio Costa…Congratulations Goans worldwide. Let’s rejoice and pray that Antonio Costa’s Premiership lasts long and many more Goans follow in his footsteps and become world leaders in their chosen fields,” he said. Costa, a socialist leader, was appointed the Prime Minister by the Portugal President on Tuesday. 54-year-old Costa’s ancestral house is in Comba-Margao in Goa and he also has relatives living in Margao. Goa was a Portuguese colony for over 450 years until it was liberated by the Indian Army on December 19, 1961.