Alliance compulsions apart, against casinos in Goa: BJP

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Panaji, July 17 (IANS) Hinting that coalition compulsions were responsible for allowing the casinos to function in Goa, the BJP on Monday said it is against this industry.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is expected to table the state’s first casino policy, will be addressing the issue comprehensively during the upcoming monsoon session of the Goa Assembly, BJP spokesperson Nilesh Cabral told a press conference here.

“The Chief Minister is already on record that he will address this issue properly. Today, the BJP is not the only (party in) government…A collective decision has to be taken. We (BJP) are against casinos,” Cabral said when asked whether the BJP was principally against the casino industry in the state.

The Opposition has attacked the BJP for its alleged proximity to the offshore casino industry, especially after a sixth offshore casino vessel which was being steered from the Arabian Sea into the Mandovi river ran aground at Miramar beach due to stormy weather.

Parrikar and his predecessor Laxmikant Parsekar had repeatedly assured that there would be no more addition to the five offshore casinos operating on the Mandovi river.

BJP sources now say that Parrikar’s casino policy, which is expected to be tabled in the state assembly, would facilitate the relocation of offshore casinos onshore and that a three-year period would be given to the industry to relocate from the Mandovi river.

–IANS

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