Cadre accept 'donation' from bar owner, Cong upset

A local unit of the Congress has left the party red-faced after accepting financial contribution from a bar hotel owner in Thrissur.

The Congress has continued making the right noises about “social concerns” that steered the United Democratic Front (UDF) government’s excise policy that envisages prohibition in Kerala.

The Congress unit in Thiruvilvamala in Thrissur district collected Rs 5,000 from the proprietor of a bar hotel owner as part of the Janapaksha Yatra, a state-wide rally by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V M Sudheeran. Sudheeran had taken a firm stance against re-issuance of licences to bars closed over sub-standard maintenance that later led to the government’s new liquor policy that proposes phased prohibition in the state over 10 years.

The receipt of the financial contribution is dated November 12. Party officials said “clear instructions” were passed on to activists to refrain from collecting money for the rally from bar hotel owners. Sudheeran had started the rally on November 4 as part of cadre mobilisation ahead of next year’s local body elections. The rally has also been promoted as the Congress’ call for a liquor-free Kerala.

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