With the BJP now fallaciously claiming that it is dependent on revenue from Casinos to run the State, it only demonstrates the political and moral bankruptcy of this government. The financial mess that this government finds itself in is on account of its own overall fiscal irresponsibility in mismanaging the State coffers. The increasing number of Casinos both offshore and onshore should be a matter of concern. Except Sikkim all other states have been smart enough to have kept the Casinos at bay.
While as the Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar had vociferously branded Casinos as a “social evil” and had called them “dens of vice”. While spearheading 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 has gone all out to promote, shield and increase the number of Casinos under the guise of promoting Tourism.
On 10th October 2013 the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had assured the Goa Legislative Assembly that all the Casinos would be moved out of the River Mandovi by September 2015. The offshore Casinos are meant to be off shore and that is where they should operate from. It cannot be the government’s burden to unearth a location for the Casinos to relocate. With the tacit support of the government, in contravention of law the Casinos continue afloat in the River Mandovi.
Ironically the RSS which sets and gears the agenda for the BJP is known to be against gambling but their now stoic silence on Casinos is deafening. The BJP has fallen in passionate love with the Casino brigade who are now getting the government’s abundant patronage and overwhelming support. For the dismal number of jobs created for Goans by Casinos, the overall damage that is being inflicted to 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.
The BJP had promised to deliver Good governance at our doorsteps but has dismayed Goans by instead promoting the Casino culture all over. For what remains of Goa to stay afloat, we must get rid of Casinos and be free of its social menace. And faster it happens it would be better for Goa and Goans.