Goa minister, who wanted bikini ban, defends casinos

Indo Asian News Service

Panaji, Aug 6 (IANS) Goa's PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar, who wanted a ban on bikinis and pubs, Wednesday defended his decision to allow the use of government-owned river jetties for casino operations.

Replying to a query by Congress legislator Pandurang Madkaikar, Dhavalikar was heckled by opposition legislators over his earlier bikini comments.

"They (casino operators) are paying three times more. We are getting more than Rs.1 crore as revenue from that jetty," Dhavalikar said.

Dhavalikar, also minister for river navigation, defended the renovations carried out by casino operators at the jetties because of the increased revenue.

The jetties are used as ticketing and transit areas, where gamblers are screened and taken to and from casino vessels parked in the river with the help of feeder boats.

Dhavalikar was also needled by Congress members, especially Dabolim legislator Mauvin Godinho, who kept harking back to the minister's call for a ban on bikinis.

Accusing Godinho of having no respect, Dhavalikar responded by saying: "You ask that to someone at home if they want to wear it."

Dhavalikar had sparked off a national outcry earlier this month when he demanded a ban on mini skirts, bikinis and pubs in Goa, a top tourism and entertainment destination in the world.

He claimed the ban was required because revealing clothes and drinking alcohol in pubs was against "Indian culture".