AIRES RODRIGUES | While as the Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar had branded Casinos as a “social evil” and had called them “dens of vice”. While leading that agitation against Casinos, Manohar Parrikar had vowed to make sure that all Casinos were thrown out of Goa if the BJP came to power. But in a dramatic U turn in March 2012 after usurping power, the BJP went all out to promote, shield and increase the number of Casinos in the name of promoting Tourism.
Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister while branding the revenue from Casinos as “bad” money had declared in the Goa Legislative Assembly that the revenue from Casinos would be kept in a separate account and utilized only on homes for the aged and those suffering from Alzheimer’s. On that revenue earned by the government from Casinos, Manohar Parrikar had firmly stated “We don’t want to use that money to buy computers for students. We don’t need that money in the budget”. Addressing the Goa Legislative Assembly on 7th August 2012, the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had also categorically and confidently stated that he did not require the revenue from Casinos for Goa’s developmental works.
On 10th October 2013 Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had assured the Goa Legislative Assembly that all the Casinos would be removed from the River Mandovi by September 2015, but with the tacit support of Manohar Parrikar the Casinos continue afloat.
Manohar Parrikar and the BJP have fallen in passionate love with the Casino brigade which is now getting the government’s abundant patronage and support. For the dismal number of jobs for Goans created by Casinos, the overall damage that is being inflicted on the State is irreversible. While the BJP is feasting and making merry with the abundant moolah flowing from the Casinos, Goa has sadly become the country’s gambling hub with the allied vices of prostitution and the narcotics trade also flourishing by the day while the Crime rate is on a steep rise.
So, for Goa and Panaji to remain afloat Manohar Parrikar must sink.