BJP government still committed to move offshore casinos

Goa’s chief minister has struck back at recent remarks made by the opposition regarding the postponement of moving offshore casinos out of the River Mandovi in Goa.

Responding to a question as to why the BJP government was reluctant to abide by its 2012 promise of doing away with offshore casinos, and instead postponing the move for another year, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar told that one must recollect who allowed casinos in the state.

“Who was at power in 1994 and 1999, it was not the BJP, but the government headed by Congress which created this mess, but now they are criticizing our government for the same,” said the minister.

In a controversial statement, Parsekar explained his stand on offshore casinos: “Someone told me that I was compelled to marry a pregnant woman, so naturally I had to take care of her children,” he said. “Uprooting offshore casinos immediately would send a wrong signal to the investors in the state, besides it will affect the employment of our local youth,” he added.

Parsekar said he was still committed to move the casinos out of Mandovi, and that it has not given permission to new vessels.

“During the existing extensions, the casinos must either find alternate place or locate to spots we assign to them, whichever being the earliest,” he said.