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Kala Academy renovation: Sardesai shows video evidence, demands resignation of Gaude

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Kala Academy renovation: Sardesai shows video evidence, demands resignation of GaudeJuly 25, 2023Panaji, July 25 (IANS) Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai on Tuesday tabled the video evidence in the ongoing Legislative Assembly session to support his allegations over substandard work done at the Kala Academy and demanded resignation of Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude.On July 17, a portion of the open auditorium of the Kala Academy had collapsed. However, Gaude had reportedly said that the collapsed portion was not the part of renovation and was untouched.Subsequently, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant assured to probe about it with help of IIT Roorkey-Uttarakhand. PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral has also said that the government will issue ‘White Paper’.However, on Tuesday, Vijai Sardesai tabled the video in the ongoing Legislative Assembly session showing that the renovation work on the collapsed portion was done in the past.“After the collapse of roof, Govind Gaude stated in the house that the portion was not in the tender. But the video of November 8, 2022, where he (Gaude) had taken the media at the site for inspection and during that time the portion (which is now collapsed) was seen under repair. It is clear that minister has lied to the house and it has collapsed due to low standard of work, which is corruption. Therefore, a judicial enquiry should be done but he should resign first,” Sardesai said.“In the House today, I placed on record video evidence that the Art and Culture Minister lied to people of Goa to cover up the massive corruption in the Kala Academy renovation project, and to escape from his responsibilities as minister.“Such conduct is unacceptable, and a challenge to democratic functioning of the government. On behalf of the people of Goa, I called for the immediate resignation of the minister,” Sardesai said.While defending the state government’s move to nominate a contractor for the renovation work of Kala Academy without floating a tender, Gaude had said in July last year that even Shah Jahan did not invite quotations before building the Taj Mahal.”Taj Mahal was built between 1632 and 1653. Do you know why it is still so beautiful and everlasting? Because Shah Jahan never invited quotations to build it. That is why the Taj Mahal is intact even after 400 years,” Gaude had said.Opposition alleged that more than Rs 50 crore corruption is involved in renovation of Kala Academy.–IANSsbk/dan

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