Goa CM ducks queries on dropping convicted minister


 Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Thursday dodged questions about removing a minister, whose conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court earlier this week.

Parsekar, who was questioned by reporters on the sidelines of a function at the Police headquarters here, chose to duck queries on Archives and Archaeology Minister Francisco Pacheco.

"I will speak to him in the evening," Parsekar said.

Pacheco, an MLA from Nuvem, has a string of cases against him related to extortion, assault, bigamy, money laundering, etc, and was booked in July 2006, for assaulting Kapil Natekar, a junior engineer in the Goa government's Power Department, in the minister's own cabin for failing to respond to a power cut.

Pacheco, who heads the Goa Vikas Party, was sworn-in as a minister during a cabinet expansion in November last year after then chief minister Manohar Parrikar was elevated to the union cabinet.

On Wednesday, Parsekar hinted at dropping Pacheco, claiming that it was embarrassing to have a convicted minister in his 12-member cabinet.

Parsekar also said the final decision to drop Pacheco would be taken after the minister returns from Delhi.

Pacheco arrived in Goa from New Delhi on Thursday afternoon. - IANS