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Amid sex abuse allegations, Goa minister resigns

Amid sex abuse allegations, Goa minister resigns thumbnail

PANAJI: In a huge jolt to the BJP government in Goa ahead of the assembly elections scheduled next year, urban development and social welfare minister Milind Naik resigned from chief minister Pramod Sawant‘s cabinet on Wednesday night after Congress named him in an alleged sex scandal.

Naik said he was resigning from his post as a minister to “ensure free and fair probe into the case”. “I have accepted his resignation and sent it to governor P S Sreedharan Pillai,” Sawant told TOI.

It was on November 30 that Congress state president Girish Chodankar had first alleged, without naming Naik, that a minister was involved in a “sex scandal” and gave Sawant-led BJP government an ultimatum of 15 days to act against the minister.

Last week, Sawant had said he would act if the survivor in the alleged scandal files a complaint or if Congress names the minister involved.

BJP state chief Sadanand Shet Tanavade had also challenged Chodankar to name the minister and had said if Congress names him, BJP would immediately take action.

On Wednesday, after the 15-day deadline given by Congress passed, Chodankar publicly named Milind Naik and alleged that a Bihar-based woman was sexually exploited by the minister. He said the BJP minister has misused his office, and that he has evidence to back his allegations against Naik.

The chief minister said the government would conduct a proper investigation into the allegations. “We will look into all the evidence that has been provided and take appropriate action,” he said.

Sawant also said Naik has told him that he will fight the case. “Whatever allegations have been made against him are at a personnel level,” Sawant said, adding they do not plan to induct any minister in place of Naik.

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