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States » West

CM can warn scooterist against pollution but not casinos: Girish Chodankar

CM can warn scooterist against pollution but not casinos: Girish Chodankar

Panaji, Jun 13 (UNI) Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Girish Chodankar on Thursday alleged that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant can warn a scooterist against polluting river but can't rein offshore casinos from dumping waste in River Mandovi.

Addressing a press conference at party state headquarters in the city, Mr Chodankar said,'The Chief Minister can warn a biker to not pollute a river with nirmalya (flowers offered to God), but has no stern words for the offshore casinos who are dumping sewage into the Mandovi river?. He can tell the poor not to pollute, but does not have the guts to tell the powerful casino lobby? He probably knew that randomly cautioning an ordinary person from dumping flowers could give him publicity."

The Congress State President was referring to a post on Twitter in which the Chief Minister had uploaded a video of him stopping a scooterist from throwing Nirmalaya (flowers offered to God) into a river.

Questioning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s stand on casinos, Mr Chodankar claimed that the state government was losing Rs 5000 crore revenue annually from casino industry as number of visitors were under-reported.

The Congress leader alleged that BJP had taken u-turn on casino issue over the last seven-eight years.

"BJP was opposing casinos initially, late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar even threatened to finish off the industry. But now they are defending it, calling it integral to tourism. Casinos have complete control over Goa. Every MLA has been given an ATM. Chief Minister is managed by casinos," he alleged.

There are six operational offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos in the state. Both Congress and BJP blame each other for the presence of the casinos in the state.

UNI AKM 1338

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