news Sunday, January 18, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 18, 2015 | 1.45 pm IST The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Sunday demanded arrest of Kerala's Finance Minister K.M. Mani over the charges that he had received a Rs.1 crore bribe to re-open the closed bars in the state. CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said: "The vigilance should arrest Mani." "They should have conducted a raid in the homes of Mani. Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony and the Congress high command are fully aware of the bar graft case," he told reporters on the sidelines of a party meeting here. Balakrishnan said: "The CPI-M demands that the ongoing vigilance probe should be supervised by the Kerala High Court." The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau have filed a case at a special vigilance court against 81-year-old Mani over allegations that the state association of bar owners gave him a Rs.1 crore bribe to re-open the bars that were closed under the state's new liquor policy. Whistleblower bar owner Biju Ramesh said in October that Rs.1 crore was given to Mani as the first instalment of the Rs.5 crore he demanded for helping the reopening of the bars. Kottayam is the home district of Mani, who has won every assembly elections since 1965 from the Pala assembly constituency. In Thiruvananthapuram, Biju Ramesh said it appears strange to him that statements given by a few of the bar owners to the vigilance have been leaked. "Two members of our association have been pressurised by Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph (Mani's party colleague) to retract. I have documentary evidences to prove that money was demanded and I will hand it to the vigilance tomorrow (Monday)," Biju Ramesh told reporters. "If the vigilance is unable to crack the case, I will approach the Kerala High Court demanding a CBI probe into this graft case. I do not know if anything will happen to me as neither the state government nor any political party is coming to support me." Tweet
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