PORVORIM: Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude today responded by asking why should he resign and what is the reason.
“Why should I resign and what is the reason? I have already spoken and given my reaction to the issue. I have no enemies in politics,” said Gaude.
Gaude further said that if it was established that the money had been taken without conducting the events, then the amount would be recovered.
Gaude told the media that a probe will be conducted.
“We receive applications to hold cultural events. We don’t say no to anyone. All the applications are scrutinised by the department and sanctioned,” he added.
Gaude also said that after the event is held, we ask for a utilisation certificate and if it is not in tune with the norms, they are debarred.
“If there is a situation wherein the events are not being held, we will increase vigilance while sanctioning,” Gaude added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant convened a meeting to resolve the fight between Gaude-Tawadkar. BJP State President Sadanand Tanawde along with Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar, and Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude met the Chief Minister before heading for the second day of the Assembly session. All attendees, including Speaker Tawadkar, State President Tanawde, and Minister Gaude, remained tight-lipped about the details discussed during the meeting.
The controversy surrounding Govind Gaude emerged after Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar made corruption allegations against the Minister on the very first day of the Goa Legislative Assembly session on Friday. Speaker Tawadkar directly implicated Minister Gaude in alleged corruption related to the mishandling of funds designated for grants within the Department of Art and Culture.
Ramesh Tawadkar had said that panchayat members of three village panchayats of Canacona have alleged that cultural organisations fraudulently obtained funds of Rs 26.85 lakh from the Art and Culture Directorate for programmes, which never took place.
Speaker Tawadkar emphatically called for a thorough investigation into the purported financial irregularities, adding a layer of intensity to the unfolding political drama. On the other hand, Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude had said that he would initiate an inquiry in the matter, claiming that his functioning is transparent.