Free Press Journal

BJP, Congress makes offshore casinos as by-poll plank


Panaji: Locked in the Panaji bye-election battle, rivals BJP and Congress have made offshore casinos as their poll plank with both the parties mudslinging at each other on the issue.

While Congress Goa Chief Luizinho Faleiro had on Thursday said that they will suspend licences of all offshore casinos issued by Corporation of City of Panaji, if voted to power in the by-poll, the BJP said the issue would boomerang on their political rival.

Congress attacked the ruling-BJP pointing out that they failed to shift offshore casinos, which is spoiling the beauty of river Mandovi.

Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar counter attacked the rival party, saying that casinos (offshore) were brought in the state by Congress only and that their statement (on casinos) will boomerang on them.

Panaji by-poll is scheduled on February 13 after the seat fell vacant following resignation of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who was elevated as the Union defence minister.

BJP has fielded its senior party worker Siddharth Cuncolienkar as the candidate, who will face Congress’s Surendra Furtado.

Parsekar, defending the casino business said that the state government cannot suspend their licences as it will send wrong signal to corporates investing in Goa.

“We will shift the offshore casino vessels away from the city if we find the place, but, we cannot suspend their licences,” he had said.

Goa has five offshore casinos which are currently operating in river Mandovi near here.