The Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) Monday accused the ruling BJP of encouraging the "casino mafia" in the coastal state and demanded that a white paper be issued on the removal of the offshore casinos. Addressing a press conference, Subhash Velingkar, who heads GSM, also demanded that the government come up with a deadline for removal of these casinos from the Mandovi river.
The former Goa unit RSS chief also said that the GSM will launch a statewide awareness campaign on the issue from July 10. "We want to know when these offshore vessels will be removed from the Mandovi river and where will be they relocated. We want the government to come up with a white paper on the casinos and make it public," he demanded.
Velingkar also demanded appointment of a 'gaming commissioner' to keep track of the number of people who visit the casino-mounted ships on a regular basis. Explaining his demand, Velingkar said business of the casinos can be tracked through a gaming commissioner till they are moved out of the Mandovi river.
Currently, six casinos operate in the river near Panaji. "The BJP is responsible for entertaining and encouraging the casino mafia in Goa. Not only that the BJP has also changed its stand on the issue. In the year 2012, Manohar Parrikar (late CM) had won the assembly elections on the promise of removing the offshore casinos from the Mandovi river, but later took a U-turn on the issue," Velingkar alleged.
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