A report based on the internal inquiry conducted by Kerala Congress (M) into the bar bribery case says that it was a conspiracy hatched against its supremo KM Mani by Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.
The report also says that Congress leaders Adoor Prakash and Joseph Vazhackkan and PC George MLA, who had once merged with the Mani group, were aware of the conspiracy.
The more serious allegation in the report is that opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had made several attempts to become the Chief Minister by replacing Oommen Chandy. Chennithala was the Home Minister during the tenure of the previous UDF government headed by leader of the A faction Oommen Chandy.
State president of Congress affiliated trade union INTUC, R Chadrasekharan, had also approached Mani in this regard, reports leaked to the media say.
The Bar bribery case was borne out of the allegations made by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association that Mani had demanded Rs 5 crore from them as bribe and accepted Rs one crore for renewal of licenses of more than 400 bars.
The case was the biggest blow in the political career of Mani, who is the longest serving member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly. He was forced to quit as Finance Minister following the allegations.
The 71-page inquiry report included the findings made by the private agency which was appointed by Mani to conduct a probe into the case, reports Times of India.
KC(M) was the second largest ally after the Indian Union Muslim League, of the Congress-led UDF, before it parted ways in August 2016. Mani cited ill treatment by Congress as the reason for ending the 35-year old ties.
In May, KC(M) won the election to the post of district panchayat president Kottayam with the support of the CPI (M) which the Congress termed as political betrayal and opportunism.
On June 10, Congress mouthpiece 'Veekshanam' in an article flayed Mani saying that his political history was not righteous and his politics was always unethical.