Goa ministers took money to shield floating casinos, says BJP leader Manohar Parrikar

Panaji, Sep 17 (Calcutta Tube) Ministers in the Goa cabinet have taken kickbacks to ensure that floating casinos in a river are not shifted out into the sea, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Parrikar said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters here, Parrikar hit out at the Congress-led coalition government for reversing an earlier cabinet decision to shift the offshore casinos from the Mandovi river out into the sea.

‘For the cabinet to reverse its own decision in such a shameful manner, some money has surely changed hands,’ said Parrikar, whose party launched a sustained campaign against offshore casinos.

‘The Goa government is bankrupt in every respect. They are bankrupt when it comes to taking action or even thinking,’ said the leader of opposition in the assembly.

The Goa cabinet Wednesday reversed its decision taken last year ordering offshore casino vessels plying in the Mandovi river to move out into the Arabian Sea.

Instead, the cabinet decided to shuffle the positions of the seven offshore casino vessels along the course of the river.

The government faced criticism from the opposition and civil society groups which claimed that permitting casinos in Goa would result in an increase in the crime rate.

Parrikar, a legislator from Panaji, said that the BJP would continue to campaign against offshore casinos and force the government to move them into the sea, which he said was the proper interpretation of the word ‘offshore’.

‘We continue to oppose offshore casinos. They should be moved away into the sea. They should not be visible from Panaji,’ he said.

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