Goa Speaker exposes own party minister, Oppn seeks resignation of Gaude

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Panaji, Feb 3 (IANS) The opposition parties in Goa have sought the resignation of Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude after Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar levelled allegations against him over alleged misappropriation of ‘special grants’.

Tawadkar, a senior BJP leader from the ST community, said that he would not tolerate the indiscipline of the minister “who was behaving without any protocol”.

“I am witnessing such an incident for the first time that a Minister from my government is behaving in an irresponsible manner… is being indisciplined and the one who is not following protocol. I feel sad about this. It should not happen. I will not tolerate it,” Tawadkar said,

According to him, the Art and Culture Department has released funds to families who have formed multiple organisations, and have failed to organise programmes for which the grants were released.

Reacting to the allegations by Tawadkar against his own party minister, opposition has demanded resignation from Gaude and face inquiry.

“Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar’s accusation is severe, action is inevitable. His allegation of a scam in the Art and Culture Ministry, and his accusation of misappropriation of funds by the minister has to be viewed with the utmost seriousness and attention it deserves,” Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardesai said.

“I stand vindicated as I have raised this issue myself many times before but to no avail. The government must immediately launch a comprehensive and independent investigation into this affair. The minister’s position has become untenable now with such scathing comments from the Assembly’s presiding authority, and I demand that he step down and face the inquiry,” Sardesai said.

Alleging that the Art and Culture Minister is involved in corruption, GPCC President Amit Patkar also demanded his resignation.

“Since last 10 years, time and again we have been telling that the BJP government is corrupt. Today, Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar also alleged that Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude is involved in a scam. He has done misappropriation of the ‘Special Grants’, the same minister is facing allegations of Rs 90 crore corruption in renovation work of Kala Academy. But BJP has failed to take action against him. They are protecting a corrupt minister,” Patkar said.

“This may be the first case wherein the Speaker has exposed a member of his own party involved in corruption,” he said.



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