Khaunte speaks out against casino vessels’ presence in Mandovi
Holding responsible bureaucrats for giving extension to the offshore casinos for anchoring in the Mandovi in the absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his office, Minister for Revenue Rohan Khaunte on Thursday said the particular decision has violated the common minimum programme of the coalition government.
Power Minister Nilesh Cabral, on the other hand, feigned ignorance and said the gigantic ‘Big Daddy’ vessel recently anchored in the Mandovi, is only a ship and not a casino yet.
“It’s not a new casino… we don’t know if it is a casino; for us it is a ship,” he told the reporters, pointing out, “So many ships come to the ports in Goa, and ‘Big Daddy’ vessel is one of them.”
However, Khaunte said, “I strongly oppose the entry of ‘Big Daddy’ in the Mandovi.”
The Revenue Minister maintained that the common minimum programme of the coalition government clearly mentions that all the offshore casinos in the Mandovi would be relocated to one place, away from their present location.
“The Chief Minister had also assured the state legislative assembly last year that he would come out with the state casino policy by the year-end, which would include details about moving out these offshore casinos,” he added.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Khaunte said that he wanted to discuss the matter with Parrikar at the cabinet meeting, which had been scheduled last week.
“However, this meeting, which had the extension for the stay of offshore casinos in the Mandovi on its agenda, did not take place, and I could not discuss the matter with the Chief Minister,” he said.
The Revenue Minister expressed disappointment over bureaucracy ruling the state and helpless MLAs watching in despairingly.
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