Hours after state Congress President Girish Chodankar accused him of sexual exploitation of a woman from Bihar, Goa's Urban Development Minister Milind Naik on Wednesday resigned from ministership.
In a statement released on late Wednesday, the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said, "Milind Naik has tendered his resignation as Minister in the government of Goa, to ensure a free and fair probe, which has been accepted and sent to the Hon'ble Governor."
While speaking to reporters late on Wednesday outside his official residence in Panaji, Sawant also said that Naik has assured him that he would battle the personal allegations levelled against him by the Congress party on his own.
It was on November 30 that Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar alleged that a minister in the BJP-led government was involved in a “sex scandal”. Chodankar had threatened to put the evidence in public domain ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Goa, if Sawant does not sack the minister within 15 days and take criminal action against his cabinet colleague.
With no action from Sawant-led government, Chodankar went public with the minister's name while addressing a press conference in Panaji. He accused Naik of being involved in an alleged scandal involving a woman from Bihar, dating back to around 2019.
"The minister involved in the sex scandal, Milind Naik, should be sacked and action should be initiated agianst him. And ministers like Milind Naik, who sexually assault women, should be not be protected," Chodankar said.
Chodankar had also asked Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to back the victim and give her confidence to file a complaint against Naik.
Allegedly, the incident happened when the woman approached Naik for official work after her husband, who was working in Goa, met with a fatal accident.
"I urge Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to safeguard the interests of a daughter of Bihar, against whom a minister in Goa is committing atrocities. You are speaking about empowering women in Bihar. Will you stand with your daughter or with the minister in Goa? The people of Bihar and India are watching you. I appeal to the CM of Bihar. Give the required confidence to the woman who is claiming to be from Bihar as per the legal notice I have received and the police complaint that is filed," Chodankar said.
On late Wednesday, Sawant told reporters that his government will 100 per cent inquire into all evidence submitted by the Congress party linked to accusations of sexual exploitation. "We will 100 per cent investigate all evidence submitted (by Congress party),"he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, a complaint was filed by Youth Congress workers against Naik at the women's police station in Panaji, where they submitted evidence that they claim is the audio, video and Whatsapp chats between the Minister and the victim.