FIR against Kerala finance minister in bar graft case

Thiruvananthapuram : The Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau Thursday filed an FIR against Kerala Finance Minister K.M. Mani after conducting a quick verification of the allegation that bar hotel owners association had given him a Rs.1 crore bribe.

Mani, who is in Delhi to attend a meeting, told reporters that there is no reason for him to resign.

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“There are so many leaders who are facing similar probes. There is no truth in this baseless allegation and soon the truth will emerge,” said Mani.

The trouble began when whistle-blower bar owner Biju Ramesh, who is also the working chairman of the Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association, took part in a TV channel discussion in October. He alleged that Mani has received Rs.1 crore to ensure that 418 bars must be allowed to function.

The Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau filed the charge sheet against Mani based on the statements of nine people.

The opposition led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) and Communist Party of India (CPI) have already demanded Mani’s resignation in the wake of the case being registered against him.

The nine-member Kerala Congress (Mani) legislators will meet to discuss the issue later in the day.

“I have faith on the top officials of the vigilance bureau and now the truth has come out,” said Ramesh.

Mani, 81, is named as the only accused in the case.