BJP hand in glove with casino lobby in Goa, alleges Congress
The Congress on Monday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with the casino lobby in Goa is trying to destabilise the opposition in the state by creating a rift within the party ranks. The grand old party further claimed that there is also a conspiracy going on to oust Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar from the party due to his anti-casino stand in the coastal state. Congress has, however, cleared that they stand firmly behind their state president despite the BJP's malicious attempts.
While speaking at a press conference in Panaji, Goa Congress spokesperson Amarnath Panjikar said, "The casino lobby and the Bharatiya Janata Party collectively are trying to oust our state Congress president Girish Chodankar, because of his sustained campaign against the casino industry. But the party stands collectively behind Chodankar. The BJP has no right to decide who heads the Congress party."
Panjikar also stressed that a dozen onshore casinos and six offshore casinos in Goa are like an ATM card without a pin in the hands of the BJP. "When our state president launched a campaign against offshore casinos, accusing them of polluting the Mandovi river, a BJP minister leapt to the defence of the casino industry. This is because the casino industry is like an ATM card without a pin in the hands of the BJP," he added.
The allegations have come in the wake of a potential rift within the Congress party where a majority of party leaders are seeking the ouster of Chodankar after the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections and Legislative Assembly bypolls.
Both the BJP and Congress are at loggerheads regarding the casino culture in the coastal state. When the BJP was in opposition, it had vociferously opposed the creation of casinos in Goa, however, ever since the BJP has come to power, the Congress is accusing the BJP of joining hands with the casino lobby for financial gains.