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Angry backlash over Russian's rape splits Goa Govt

IANS  Panaji, January 28, 2010
First Published: 16:09 IST(28/1/2010) | Last Updated: 17:25 IST(28/1/2010)

In a veiled attack on Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik in the aftermath of a nine-year old Russian girl being raped on Republic Day, state Tourism Minister Mickky Pacheco said ministers who cannot handle their portfolios should resign.


"Ministers, who cannot handle their portfolios, should give them up," Pacheco, a nationalist Congress party (NCP) minister in the Congress-led coalition government in the state, said while reacting to the rape of the Russian girl at Arambol beach in broad daylight Tuesday.

The tourism minister, however, did not name Naik.

"By now the Congress high command should take action against its ministers who fail to deliver," Pacheco said, adding that the rape reflected badly on the image of state.

Pacheco also criticised chief minister Digambar Kamat for being unable to convene a meeting of the home ministry and tourism ministry officials to discuss safety of tourists.

"I had moved a confidential file to the chief minister calling for an urgent meeting between home ministry and tourism ministry officials in his presence. But there was no response from the chief minister's office," Pacheco said.

The tourism minister, who has in the past voiced fear that Goa would be tagged as the rape capital of the world, has also had several run-ins with Naik over the issue of tourist safety. 

"Such incidents are an insult to Goa. Why should the state get a bad name only because of the inefficiency of a few ministers," Pacheco said. 

Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja also took up the case with the Goa chief minister Wednesday and sought a report. 

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