‘Ministers going to casinos is bad’

June 22nd, 2009 - 11:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, June 22 (IANS) Saying that “ministers going to casinos is bad”, Goa Congress chief Subhash Shirodkar Monday said the involvement of Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) cabinet ministers in casino-related controversies was “in bad taste”.
“I can only say that the casino episode is in bad taste,” Shirodkar said at a press conference at the party headquarters here.

The local electronic media, over the last 24 hours, has been running CCTV footage of Tourism Minister and NCP legislator Francisco alias Mickky Pacheco emptying a polythene bag containing five bundles of Rs.1,000 notes on the roulette table at the Treasures Casino at the Majorda beach resort in South Goa.

The casino’s general manager, in a complaint filed at the Colva police station, had accused Pacheco of threatening to eliminate him and his family.

The casino management has also accused the controversial minister of not paying the approximately Rs.30 lakh he owed to the casino. Pacheco, in a counter complaint, has accused the casino of not paying him his winnings of Rs.1.25 crore.

Meanwhile, the Congress has “casino-troubles” of its own with Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao, the party legislator from Navelim, publicly claiming he regularly frequents casinos.

“According to the Congress party, ministers going to casinos is bad and what happened there (the Pacheco episode) is bad too,” Shirdokar maintained.

He, however, said that it was up to the chief minister to take cognizance of his ministers’ casino antics. “It is only proper that he takes cognizance first. They are his ministers,” Shirodkar said.

Shirodkar also said, that he had already compiled a report on anti-party activities of senior Congressmen during the last Lok Sabha polls, adding that the report includes names of ministers in the state cabinet and several party workers too. “I have sent the report to the high command.

We will wait for a word from them, before taking any disciplinary action,” he said.

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