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AAP focus in Goa: Illegal mining, casinos


Panaji, Feb 26 :

Illegal mining, the casino industry and real estate regulation could be the issues likely to feature in the Goa Aam Aadmi Party’s election manifesto, a party member said.

AAP member Rajendra Kakodkar told IANS that most of the suggestions received by the party, which is now working towards putting together an election manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, hovered around these three issues.

“We will be getting all the demands vetted by specialists and activists who have been working on these issues for years before including solutions in our manifesto,” he said.

Goa has five operational offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos, which attract hundreds of thousands of gamblers to the state annually.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had promised to “throw the casinos into the sea”, reversed its stand after coming to power in 2012.

Illegal mining is a Rs.35,000 crore industry according to a judicial commission report, which has indicted a nexus of bureaucrats, a cross section of politicians and mining magnates.

AAP had already called for suggestions on Facebook and are now expected to physically reach out to the community through townhall meetings where they will solicit suggestions to create a comprehensive agenda for the manifesto.

“We will release the manifesto in two weeks along with our national manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections,” Kakodkar said.

AAP has already committed to contest both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa.

Campaigning for basic issues like cheap electricity and water, AAP had made a stunning debut in Delhi polls, where it came second in the seats tally.