**Panaji: ** Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday refused to join the mudslinging match with recently sacked Deputy Chief Minister Sudin Dhavalikar.
The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA claimed that he was being harassed by central agencies, like the ED, the IT and the NIA, and efforts were being made to arrest his wife.
When asked to respond to Dhavalikar’s charges, Sawant said: “I do not know, ask the MGP”.
On March 29, days after he was removed from the BJP-led coalition ministry and two MGP legislators were inducted in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dhavalikar said he was being threatened by officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Income Tax (I-T) Department and the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
“We have received a lot of threats over the last three days from the ED, the I-T and the NIA that my wife would be arrested,” Dhavalikar said.
Jyoti, the former Deputy Chief Minister’s wife, has links with the Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu right wing organisation based in Dhavalikar’s constituency of Marcaim.
Some sympathisers of the Sanstha are under the lens of state as well as national investigation agencies, including the NIA, in connection with the murder of rationalists in southern and western states.
The support of Dhavalikar and the MGP, which enjoys backing among the Hindu conservatives in Goa, is key to the BJP’s success in the two Lok Sabha and three Assembly by-elections, scheduled on April 23.