With almost every single political party in Goa promising to ban offshore casinos in their election manifesto, the voters opposing gambling business in Goa now feel cheated by their elected representatives; however, it is not the first time.
The current BJP led coalition in power had promised to ban all offshore casinos in the state. However, after the General Elections and the Panjim by poll, the promises seem to be forgotten.
Exposing the dual standards of the BJP in the state, former Goa RSS Chief, Subhash Velingkar has been vocal about the issue and has accused the BJP-led coalition government of being in cahoots with the casino industry.
Now Velingkar demands that Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant comes out with a white paper on cost-benefit ratio of casino gambling to the coastal state.
“Successive BJP governments in Goa have cheated the people vis-a-vis its assurances that the casino industry in Goa would be shut down,” he said.
“In the 2012 Assembly elections, the BJP made opposition to casinos as one of their key poll issues. When they came to power, the party threw the issue into the dustbin. (Late Chief Minister Manohar) Parrikar announced that by 2015, the casinos would be driven out of the Mandovi. People thought he would do it, but they were cheated once again because the casinos are still here,” Velingkar added.
Velingkar asked four questions to the chief minister: “The Chief Minister needs to reply to our four questions. Why has no Gaming Commission been appointed for seven years to regulate gambling, by which date will the casinos be moved out of the Mandovi river, and where will they be relocated eventually.”