Cong marches out of Casino issue in poll manifesto

PTI, PANAJI | 30 January 2015 23:49 IST

Even as Congress has said that it would hold a march to demand shifting the offshore casinos from Mandovi river here, the party's manifesto for the Panaji bye-election does not have any mention of it.

The manifesto for the Panaji bypoll was released here today in the presence of Congress Goa unit chief Luizinho Faleiro, Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane, party candidate Surendra Furtado and other leaders. 

Panaji by-poll is scheduled for February 13 after the seat fell vacant following resignation of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was elevated as the Union Defence Minister. 

The manifesto, which promises to change the face of Panaji, has no word on shifting the gaming dens, which both the Congress and ruling BJP have made as their poll plank. 

Defending non-inclusion of the issue in the manifesto, Faleiro said it is not possible for an MLA who would be sitting in opposition, if he gets elected, to enact a legislation to move the casinos out of Mandovi river. 

Furtado, if elected to power, will have to sit in the opposition benches in the Goa Legislative Assembly. 

"We don't want to promise something in writing which is difficult to be implemented. We will not write but do it," said Furtado after mediapersons asked Faleiro over the issue. 

Responding to a question, Faleiro announced that the party will hold a candle march on February 6 in the city, starting from the historic Azad Maidan and heading towards Mandovi river bank where the offshore casinos are anchored. 

The march will be held to expose the double-standard adopted by the BJP, which had promised to get the casinos out of Mandovi once voted to power, but has failed to fulfil it so far, he said. 

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