Oppn stages walkout over casino issue


Opposition on Thursday staged a walkout from the state assembly session after chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar declined to answer questions on the government’s future plans for casinos.

The fourth day of the monsoon session saw extensive debate with MLAs across party lines denouncing the presence of casinos in the state.

“They are not in a mood to answer any questions on casinos. We had four questions on casinos. They didn’t reply to any of them. At least now implement the gaming commissioner. This government, the way the CM spoke, if it was the party president who was speaking we could accept, but he is the CM of the state,” independent MLA Rohan Khaunte said.

In his reply to questions on casinos, Parsekar, who holds the home portfolio, slammed detractors of casinos while simultaneously dodging pointed questions on the fate of the casinos after their licenses expired.

“We have been elected for five years and for five years we have the job to rule. As the opposition they have the right to raise questions, but we will rule,” Parsekar said while responding to the questions raised.

Hinting at opposition MLAs, Parsekar said some MLAs had ulterior motives. The opposition took offence to both these statement.

“The CM should know how to speak. You cannot direct a statement to the opposition and expect them to listen. It is his duty to respond to questions raised by the opposition. The government has created a casino bazaar in Goa. They have finished Goa,” Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal said.

Casinos have been a sore subject for the state with widespread opposition to off-shore casinos. The issue rocked the current monsoon assembly session for two consecutive days, drawing scathing remarks from the ruling bench, too.

“If we don’t want casinos then we have to take a decision today. We have to say to them, make your money and then go. The government should take a decision that if casinos are bad for Goa, even land casinos, then we must say no,” BJP Calangute MLA Michael Lobo said.