Kerala LDF intensifies protest against Mani

The CPM-led opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala on Monday intensified its protests against scam-hit Finance Minister K M Mani both within and outside of the state legislative Assembly. 

The assembly was adjourned for the day after opposition MLAs disrupted proceedings demanding resignation of the minister who is facing a Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) probe into allegations that he had accepted Rs one crore as bribe from bar hotel owners to ensure favourable decisions on issuance of bar licences.

Later, the opposition MLAs staged a sit-in protest outside of the House. The LDF also organised a march to the state assembly complex here as part of the protests.

Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan said efforts were on to derail investigation in the bribery case like in other recent cases that have haunted the Congress-led ruling United Democratic Front (UDF).

The ruling coalition has backed the beleaguered minister who is also chief of Kerala Congress (M), the third biggest party in the UDF.

Meanwhile, UDF leaders sat together late in the evening to discuss possibilities of bringing in “practical changes” – as announced by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy himself – in the government’s new excise policy that envisages shut-down of bars outside of the five-star category and phased prohibition of liquor over 10 years.

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