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First stop casinos if against pub culture: Congress to BJP

By Ians

Panaji, July 14: If pub culture was destroying Goa, then why doesn't the BJP government in the state act against casinos too, the Congress asked on Monday.

The opposition Congress Monday said the tirade against pub culture by ruling politicians would damage the tourist state's reputation across the world.

Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of indulging in double standards by supporting casinos, but at the same time voicing apprehensions about pub culture.

"For the past two weeks, Goa is in the wrong news globally which would impact our tourism and bring a bad name to the state," Kamat said.

Comments from a state minister, as well as Union Tourism Minister Shripad Naik calling for a ban on revealing clothes for women and controlling "pub culture" because both were "against Indian culture" have triggered a controversy after being played out in the national as well as international media.

Goa is a top beach tourism destination in India and is known for its nightlife, bars and pubs.

On Saturday, Naik called for regulation of "pub culture" and said it should not be promoted.

At the same time, he dodged questions related to the BJP government's acceptance of the casino industry, claiming it was a state government subject.

"We would like to know the view of the union tourism ministry with regards to offshore casinos operating in the state. The tourism minister should speak out his conscience and come clear on his opinions about offshore casinos," Kamat said.

He said Naik had earlier expressed opposition to the casino industry.

The BJP had been opposing the casino industry for several years and promised to put an end to it. However, after coming to power in Goa, the party defended the need for casinos for the state's economy.


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