One cannot blame Biju Ramesh -working president of the Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association and Chairman of the Rajadhani Group- of playing favourites. When he is out to get people, he applies the same rule to all be it the ruling front or the Opposition.
It’s now the Left’s turn to be targeted. Leaked audio clippings reportedly from the evidence submitted by Biju to the Vigilance has Biju assuring his colleagues at a bar owners’ meeting that 418 bars would be reopened if the LDF came to power.
When questioned by one of the bar owners about its veracity, Biju is heard saying that Vigilance SP R Sukesh is clearly against the ruling front and it was his idea to make Biju drop the name of four serving ministers during a media-interaction.
This time around, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan too makes it to Biju’s enviable roll-call as one of the prominent Left leaders to have assured him of the reopening of all closed bars, in the event of the Left coming to power in the upcoming Assembly elections in April/May.
That’s when state Leader of the Opposition VS Achuthanandan’s clout gets revealed with Biju being heard saying that once VS gives an assurance, the UDF government could be brought down.
It is purportedly based on this audio clipping that the government has ordered a Crime Branch probe against Sukesh’s alleged misuse of his official position in the bar bribery case.
The transcript of the audio clipping goes somewhat like this:
(NB: Wherever ‘another bar-owner’ is mentioned, it could be any one from the Association, so no names are taken)
Biju Ramesh: SP said if Unnichettan (possibly referring to Rajkumar Unni, Kerala Bar Hotels Association President) does not say it, they have evidence against him which they will use to put him behind bars.
Another bar-owner: Is the SP for or against the government? How can you be sure he is not just trying to take you for a ride?
Biju: The SP is against the government.
Another bar-owner: The government is more scared of Jacob Thomas then Vinson Paul.
Biju Ramesh: The SP himself told me that the media is waiting outside and that since he couldn’t reveal anything himself, he asked me to go a do a thorough laundry-job out there. I asked him what should I say? That’s when he told me to tell the media that there were four more (ministers).
Some name-dropping indeed!
You can hear the entire clipping here: