Goa opposition walks out during debate on casinos

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Panaji, July 28 (IANS) The Goa opposition on Thursday walked out of the assembly after angry exchanges with Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar over government’s alleged support to the casino industry.

The opposition members led by Congress Legislative Party leader Pratapsing Rane walked out shouting anti-government slogans, after Parsekar accused the opposition legislators of trying to “misuse” the assembly proceedings.

“We won’t do what you say. We have been elected for five years to run the administration. Some MLAs are misusing the assembly for their own benefit,” Parsekar said during a discussion on Home Department affairs. Casinos in Goa are licensed by the department.

Following Parsekar’s comment, opposition legislator demanded that the Chief Minister name the legislators who were “misusing the assembly” over the issue of casinos.

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“You have to name the MLAs who are misusing the assembly or else do not indulge indulge in loose talk,” Independent MLA Naresh Sawal said.

The altercation between Parsekar and Sawal reached a feverish pitch, after the chief minister said that he would come to the latter’s constituency and make public certain questionable business transactions between “certain casino owners and businessmen”.

“Just because we are listening, they think they can talk whatever they want to and get away with it. We will not take this lying down. Either you give us answers or we are going to go from here. We have no interest in your stories,” Sawal said in his heated exchange with the Chief Minister, after which the Leader of Opposition Rane led the walkout.

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The controversy surrounding the arrival of a fifth offshore casino and the opening of India’s largest onshore casino has been a point of heated debate in the monsoon session of the assembly.



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