Goa's Urban Development Minister and BJP legislator Milind Naik tendered his resignation from the state cabinet on Wednesday after the Congress alleged that he was involved in a sexual exploitation case.
The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) issued a statement late night on Wednesday, saying that Naik has tendered his resignation to ensure a "free and fair probe".
The CMO said in a tweet that Naik tendered his resignation as a minister, which has been accepted and sent to the governor.
The BJP MLA, who represents the Mormugao Assembly constituency in South Goa, held the urban development portfolio in the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet. He was also a part of the previous cabinet led by the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
Earlier in the day, Congress Goa chief Girish Chodankar accused Naik of being involved in the sexual exploitation of a woman by misusing his power as a cabinet member.
He demanded that Sawant should sack the minister and the police should initiate a probe into the allegation against him.
A fortnight back, Chodankar had first time raised the issue, but had not named the minister at that time. He had given 15 days' time to the chief minister to remove the minister from the cabinet.
CM Sawant had asked Chodankar to name the minister and also provide the copy of the complaint filed by the victim against him.
After Chodankar named Naik, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee vice president Sankalp Amonkar also filed a complaint with police against the minister. In a press conference, Amonkar also released a purported audio conversation between the victim and the minister.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said the state government will conduct an investigation into the Congress' allegation of BJP legislator Milind Naik being involved in a sexual exploitation case.
After meeting the BJP legislator late Wednesday night, CM Sawant told reporters that Naik has resigned for a free and fair investigation into the case.
"I have accepted the resignation and also sent it to the governor. Whatever evidence the Congress has produced that we will be investigate," he said.
The chief minister also said Naik told him that he will fight the case at a personal level.
The cabinet post will remain vacant and there will be no fresh induction, he said. "I will handle all his portfolios," Sawant added.
The state Assembly elections are due in February 2022. Chodankar has demanded that police initiate a probe into the allegation against Naik.