More drama continues as Mani prepares to present Kerala budget
news Friday, March 13, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| March 13, 2015| 8.00 am IST Kerela Finance Minister KM Mani is all set to present the state budget at 9 am on Friday. However, as a last-ditch effort, five female MLAs are expected to attempt preventing him from reaching his seat in the Assembly. After Mani spent the night at the Assembly, there have been protests both inside and outside the Assembly house and all five doors of the house have been blocked. Left unions and the BJP Yuva Morcha supporters are expected to gherao the leader once he steps out of the Assembly. Two thousand five hundred police personnel have been posted near the Kerala Secretariat. Their job is to guard the Secretariat on Friday as the opposition leads a massive march. The Left opposition in Kerala is determined to thwart Finance Minister K.M. Mani from presenting his 13th state budget on Friday. With the Left threatening to lock all roads leading to the Secretariat, the Kerala Chief Minister, Finance Minister and all UDF MLAs have decided to spend the night inside the assembly building. With the ruling coalition MLAs deciding to stay inside the building, the Left MLAs too have stayed back. The CPI-M-led Left opposition has been up in arms against Mani after a whistleblower bar owner Biju Ramesh claimed last year that Mani took a bribe of Rs.one crore to reopen the closed down bars in the state. After a case was registered against Mani, the Left front has been demanding that he step down. So what precautions are being taken? Schools situated in 19 wards near the Secretariat will remain closed on Friday. Liquor bars within 7 km radius of the Secretariat to be shut on Friday. The Chief Minister and Congress MLAs may stay overnight in the Secretariat Newly-inducted speaker N. Sakthan had to run through the listed business of the day on Thursday even as the entire Left opposition squatted near his podium in the house shouting slogans against Mani and the three Congress ministers. The entire Left opposition intends to stay back in the house on Thursday night to block Mani's entry into the house on Friday morning. But the 81-year-old, who has won every assembly election since 1965 and has already presented 12 state budgets, dismissed these threats as child's play. "In my long innings, I have seen numerous protests and this is just another one. I will come and present the budget tomorrow (Friday)," said Mani. Mani, however, parried questions regarding whether he will stay for the night at the official residence of the deputy speaker located in the assembly complex. "It's immaterial where I am going to stay... I have already offered my prayers at the church today (Thursday) morning," said Mani. The Left opposition has decided to put up road blocks outside the assembly complex and the youth wing of the BJP will also attempt to block the various gates leading to the assembly complex. Meanwhile, top police officials have completed their meeting to ensure that things are under control and have readied a 2,500-strong police force to foil any attempt to blockade roads. Also, efforts are to get the house floor vacated on Thursday. The budget will be presented at 9 am. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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