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Previously Anti-Casinos, Now BJP defends CM stand on Casino Issue

In a strange twist which comes with being in the seat of power, BJP that had been aggressive in its campaign against Casinos in Goa had committed to the people of the state that it would move the Casinos out of the Mandovi River if it came to power when the party was in the Opposition, appears to be snail-pacing in its effort to move the casinos out of the river.

In a recent statement to the media Chief Manohar Parrikar had stated that he would move the casinos out of Mandovi River within four-year time period.  This however has not gone down well with the NGOs who have opposing the Casino culture tooth and nail, and even supported the BJP previously in their agitations against Casinos in Goa. More so the issue of casinos has been heightened with the arrival of the new ship MV Horseshoe of Delta Corp, which will be occupying the space of the current ship Casino Royale. Casino Royale will be now docked where Casino Caravela was previously docked.

However BJP state leaders and even national leaders have decided to defend the stand on their Chief Minister on the Casino issue. The BJP-Goa Observer Smriti Irani told media that, “The Chief Minister has made a statement that no new licenses for the casinos would be given. He has also said that offshore casinos would be phased out during his tenure. And we support him on this issue as we have been extremely vocal on our stand against casinos in Goa.”

Several organizations, including Aam Aurat Admi against Gambling (AAAAG) and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS), have questioned Parrikar’s seriousness to discourage gambling through offshore casinos.

AAAAG has warned to stage protests tomorrow, on the occasion of Goa statehood day, against the off-shore casinos.

“When you were in the Opposition you demanded that Digambar Kamat (then Chief Minister) move out the casinos. Now you are in power and with full majority,” HJS said in its letter to the Chief Minister on Tuesday.

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