Biju Ramesh alleges that Jose K Mani offered Rs 10 crore to withdraw bar bribery case

Bar owner Biju Ramesh, who once raised the bar bribery scandal that rocked the UDF government, made the allegation days after Jose faction of KC(M) joined LDF.
Biju Ramesh
Biju Ramesh
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Merely days after Kerala Congress (Mani) or KC(M)’s Jose K Mani faction joined the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) of Kerala, bar owner Biju Ramesh, who once raised the infamous bar bribery scandal, has come out with serious allegations against Jose K Mani. Biju Ramesh alleged that Jose had offered him Rs 10 crore during the time the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) was ruling the state, to withdraw the bar bribery accusations. KC(M) was an ally of the Congress, but Jose’s faction was recently ousted from the UDF.

“These are not new allegations. I have said all this back then. I am not saying this now because of the new coalition formed [between KC(M) Jose faction and LDF]. If that was the case I needn’t have spoken out about paying bribes to the office of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), to leaders like Ramesh Chennithala and VS Sivakumar,” Biju Ramesh claimed.

He was obeying the instructions of the former UDF minister K Babu and giving money as he advised, the owner of the Rajadhani group said.

“We – my manager Radhakrishnan and Bar Association secretary Santhosh and I – had together gone to the house of VS Sivakumar to give Rs 25 lakh. We also went to Ramesh Chennithala’s office at KPCC and gave Rs 1 crore. In all, Rs 2 crore was given to KPCC,” Biju Ramesh said.

He denied taking part in a conspiracy led by Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala to ‘destroy’ late KC(M) leader KM Mani, father of Jose K Mani, as reported by an investigation team, deputed by Kerala Congress.

The bar bribery case which was to be heard at the Kerala High Court had ended following KM Mani’s demise in April last year. It had been a hugely damaging scandal in Mani’s career as well as the UDF government. Mani had to resign as Finance Minister a year before the UDF’s term came to an end.

The scandal began after allegations broke out that Mani demanded Rs 5 crore from Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association to renew licenses of more than 400 bars, at a time the Oommen Chandy government, aiming for total prohibition, had closed down 700 bars and restricted liquor sale in 5 star hotels. The bar owners alleged that Mani accepted one crore rupees. 

Watch: Biju Ramesh speak to the media alleging Jose K Mani of bribery

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