Goa will not be home to the country's first Playboy club with the state government deciding to reject a proposal for opening this facility at Candolim beach amid a controversy that it would promote vulgarism.
Bowing to pressure from within ruling BJP against the US-based Playboy club's move to open a branch in the tourist state, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the application would not be considered by his government on "technical grounds".
"The Playboy club's application for setting up the facility in beach shack would be rejected as shack licences are usually given to individuals and not to the companies", Parrikar told the state Assembly.
Technically, it is not possible for the state government to grant license to Playboy club, he added. Goa attracts 24 lakh tourists, both foreign and domestic, annually.
The Playboy club, a chain of nightclubs and resorts, had applied for setting up its facility in a beach shack at Candolim beach as per its business plan to open 120 clubs, bars and cafes in India by 2022.
However, the proposed venture faced stringent opposition, spearheaded by BJP MLA Michael Lobo, who alleged that the club will promote "vulgarity" and threatened hunger strike if the enterprise is allowed to operate in the state.
He had also raised the issue on the floor of the House in the form of calling attention motion.
Replying to the Calling Attention Motion, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said there had been a lot of debate on promotion of vulgarity once Playboy club is set up. "We all are aware of how prostitution is rampant in the coastal belt", he said.
Parulekar said the application was received in the name of Playboy club to build a beach shack and was submitted to the government by former MLA Agnelo Fernandes.
"As per the state government's shack policy, one can not approve applications in the brand name; one has to apply in his name", Parulekar explained.
He said the department has already given permission for 350 shacks on government land and 600 in private properties.
"The department found that the application by the club does not fall under the legal purview", the minister added.
In deference to a flurry of controversy surrounding the planned Playboy club launch, a new customized design for the Indian bunny uniform was also unveiled after the iconic costume was reworked.