Goa minister calls colleague smuggler, wants him sacked

February 2nd, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 2 (IANS) Goa Tourism Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Francisco Pacheco Monday demanded the sacking of his cabinet colleague Churchill Alemao, claiming he was “a listed smuggler”.”I have taken up the matter with the chief minister. He (Alemao) is a pronounced smuggler. I will proceed legally against Churchill Alemao. He cannot be in the ministry,” Pacheco told reporters here on the sidelines of the inaugural day of the winter session of the state assembly.

Pacheco, who has already filed a disqualification petition against Public Works Department Minister Alemao, said that a “person with such a criminal record cannot hold a cabinet berth”.

Pacheco said that in 1994 Alemao had been booked under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act.

“Alemao’s brother Alvernaz was killed by a customs officer in 1991 in a car chase and contraband was found in his car. This is public knowledge,” he said.

Pacheco’s salvo is expected to rattle the already squeaky ruling Congress-NCP coaltion that is in the government along with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and an independent.

On Saturday, state NCP chief Wilfred De Souza had criticised Chief Minister Digambar Kamat’s style of functioning and called the Congress-led coalition government “non-functional”.

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