news Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 05:30
The freedom that the media gets should not be used to tarnish others, said a Kerala minister on Tuesday.State Excise Minister K. Babu, 63, who has won every election since 1991, is currently feeling the heat after a prominent bar owner, Biju Ramesh, named him in a statement to a magistrate that the minister demanded Rs.10 crore to reduce the annual bar licence fee. "This statement of Ramesh is baseless. He says this occurred in 2013. If that be the case, when Ramesh first raised the issue of bribes in the bar scam in October last year, he did not name me nor two other Congress ministers. At that time he said it was state Finance Minister K.M. Mani who was given Rs.1 crore. In March this year, he says, I sought Rs.10 crore in bribe," said Babu. "After Ramesh spoke about Rs.10 crore, you (media) have been weaving stories based on his testimony. But what you fail to realise is that by airing false and baseless allegations, a reputation that I built over 49 years fell flat. Please do not do this, the best you can do is to find out if there is any iota of truth...," said Babu trying to control his tears. "I am taking legal action against Ramesh...I know I will be able to bring out the truth, but will you be able to give me back my image that is now being tarnished," asked Babu. Babu said that the chief minister and his colleagues are with him and that he fears no probe. He denied media reports that there is going to be an overhaul of the Kerala cabinet.  IANS

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