Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar refused to drop his colleague Ramesh Tawadkar, who has been chargesheeted in an unlawful assembly case, saying that he finds "no seriousness" in the issue.
"Frankly speaking, I don't find any seriousness in the issue that I have to ask my minister to step down," Parsekar told reporters last evening responding to demands by opposition to sack Tawadkar.
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar
Last week, the sports minister was chargesheeted by Canacona police before a Judicial Magistrate First Class in a over seven year old case in which he allegedly barged into the office of a senior forest officer at Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and forcibly took away two persons who were in custody there on April 27, 2009.
"Allegations against him are of the time when he was an MLA. Post that he contested election, won and also became minister. This is nothing new. The offence was not committed when he was minister, so issue of sacking him does not arise," Parsekar said.
The chief minister said he had a telephonic conversation with Tawadkar after the chargesheet was filed. "He (Tawadkar) told me that the persons whom he saved during that time were not even Goan but from Karnataka, who were miserably beaten up by the police on the border check post of Goa," he said.
Meanwhile, opposition Congress, AAP and Goa Forward have been demanding resignation of Tawadkar.