PANAJI: All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar, the Congress candidate for the Panaji by-election, on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, against whom he is contesting the bypoll. Starting his election campaign in front of an offshore casino that has run aground at Miramar beach, Mr. Chodankar said Mr. Parrikar had betrayed the defence interests of the country by returning to Goa to form a government, despite tensions at the country’s borders. “Mr. Parrikar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have betrayed the nation, despite speaking about nationalism and nation first. When they want to form a government, they run down to Goa by leaving sensitive ministries like the Defence Ministry in doldrums. For them, love for country is secondary to love for power, the same power from which they had been ousted in Goa in the Assembly election,” Mr. Chodankar said. “Our national leaders have ordered us to expose Mr. Parrikar, who as former Defence Minister came back to Goa to eat Goan food while the country was reeling under the Kashmir crisis, where soldiers were being killed,” he told reporters. The AICC secretary said Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi had encouraged him to expose the duplicity of the nationalism “being sold” by the BJP. He also pointed to the sixth proposed offshore casino vessel, which has run aground at Miramar beach, and said the casino industry was backed by the BJP leadership, and would lead the State to doom.