Misappropriation of funds: Goa BJP chief calls it ‘family matter’; Oppn threatens to protest

Panaji, Feb 4 (IANS): The opposition parties in Goa have slammed state BJP President and Rajya Sabha MP Sadanand Tanavade for terming the issue of ‘misappropriation of funds’ by his own party minister as ‘family issue’ (internal matter), and demanded sacking of Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude holding him responsible for loot.

On Friday, Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar had levelled allegations against Gaude 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... A minister from my government is behaving in an irresponsible manner, and not following protocols. 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 the families who formed multiple organisations, but failed to organise programmes for which the grants were released.

Reacting to Tanavade’s remarks, Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai said that it is loot of public money and not a 'family matter' of the BJP.

“Tanavade’s statement that the issue between the Speaker and the Art and Culture Minister is an ‘internal matter’ is both absurd and alarming. The real issue here is gross misappropriation of public funds, and scams. This concerns Goa and its people,” Sardesai said.

“Interpreting the Speaker’s serious accusations as a party matter is not only disparaging to that constitutional position, but also an attempt to normalise corruption by making light of it,” he said.

Congress leader Amarnath Panajikar also hit out at Tanavade and questioned whether the funds belong to the saffron party.

“I condemn the statement of Tanavade. He should first understand that this money which is looted by the Art and Culture Department belongs to the taxpayers, and not the BJP. Hence, it cannot be an internal matter of the BJP. It is a matter of corruption, where Tawadkar has accused Gaude of his involvement. This case should be thoroughly investigated and Gaude should be sacked,” said Panjikar, the media cell chief of the state Congress.

"Tanavade is saying that he will sort out this issue by meeting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. I want to know whether the double-engine government is an expert in covering up corruption cases? Action should be taken immediately in this matter, else we will be forced to protest," Panjikar added.




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Title: Misappropriation of funds: Goa BJP chief calls it ‘family matter’; Oppn threatens to protest

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