PANAJI: Yet another candidate for the May 19 Panaji Assembly bypoll, former state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Subhash Velingkar, has promised to rid the Goa capital of casinos if elected.
Days after Congress candidate for the Panaji bypoll Atanasio Monserrate promised to clear offshore casinos from the state capital within 100 days of being elected, Velingkar, who is contesting on a Goa Suraksha Manch ticket, said he too would rid Panaji of the casino industry. "Casinos have destroyed Panaji city by their sheer presence and the social ills which they propagate. I promise to do away with them from the city," said Velingkar, who released his manifesto for the state capital on Friday.
The seven offshore casinos and nine onshore casinos in Goa have been a politically sensitive subject, especially when it comes to the BJP, which had been threatening to cleanse Panaji of casinos, when in the opposition. Once in power however, successive governments led by the BJP and its late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, have been accused of being close to casino promoters by the opposition.
Velingkar in his manifesto has also promised to tackle the city's congestion and parking woes as well as setting up a task force to rehabilitate slums in the state capital. Velingkar and Monserrate take on the BJP's Sidharth Kuncalienkar and the Aam Aadmi Party's Valmiki Naik.