Despite the demand from the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) and the go ahead from the Party High Command to strip Ravi Naik of the Home portfolio, the same will not be done till the winter session of Goa Legislative Assembly scheduled to commence on 31st January is over.
The reason is simple: Whoever takes over the portfolio will face a lot of flak in the Assembly from not only the opposition but also the alliance partners of the government and even Congress MLAs.
Hence Digambar Kamat prefers to let Ravi Naik bear the brunt of the attack and indirectly let the people also know how he fumbled with the portfolio given the fact that local television news channel now telecast the assembly proceedings live.
At the CLP meeting held on Thursday, there was near unanimity on the demand to strip Ravi Naik of the Home portfolio with some legislators even demanding that he be dropped from the Cabinet. Significantly, the vociferous demand was made in the absence of Ravi Naik as he did not attend the meeting.
The Home Department has come in for severe criticism in recent times following yet another expose of Police Sub-Inspector Sunil Gudlar not only selling drugs to foreigners but also boasting about his department being corrupt where by paying the right amount of money, anything can be done even booking innocent people under drugs cases.
And if that was not sufficient, a head constable Arun Dessai was caught helping two Nepali youth sell drugs in Belgaum which was transported there from Goa in his van.
And to further add to the Goa Police woes, was the case of Cipriano Fernandes custodial death reportedly caused due to police highhandedness and negligence to provide him medical attention when required.
Besides, there have been allegations made by drug peddlers in Goa that Roy Naik, Ravi Naik’s son is their close friends, thereby fuelling speculation that the drug trade in Goa had the Home Minister’s blessings.
Taking cognizance of all these, the Congress High Command has reportedly given Digambar Kamat a free hand to take necessary action in the matter even if it means dropping Ravi Naik as a minister.
However, the action will come only after the assembly session is over as for Digambar Kamat it would be a win-win situation as Ravi Naik will stand discredited amongst the people thereby putting him on the defensive and unable to retaliate if he is stripped of the Home portfolio or even dropped from the cabinet.