Thiruvananthapuram: Bar bribery issue continued to rock Kerala Assembly on Thursday with CPI-M led LDF Opposition members disrupting proceedings and staging sit-in at the well of the House stressing their demand for resignation of Finace Minister KM Mani over matter.
Ruling Congress led UDF have made it clear that Mani himself would present the budget while Opposition LDF said it would go to any extend to prevent him from that.
Maitaining that allegations against Mani was part of a political conspiracy, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy asserted that Mani himself would present the budget.
Taking up the challenge of the ruling Front, CPI-M veteran and Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan said the government would have to face dare consequences if it let "taintd" Mani present the budget and Chandy alone would be responsible for that.
Intervening on the debate, the 82-year-old Mani pooh-poohed the opposition charges and said his 50-year-long public life was transparent. "All these allegations were baseless and purposefully aimed to tarnish my image," an emotional Mani said.
LDF took up the bar bribery issue in the Assembly today on the basis of an audio tape aired by a private TV channel containing conversation between some bar owners who alleged that three Congress ministers were also involved in the scam.
The matter was raised as a notice for adjournment motion by P Thilothaman (CPI) but Speaker N Sakthan disallowed the plea for motion after the reply of Chandy.
Achuthanandan said Mani's continuation as a minister was a "shame" to entire Kerala and announced that LDF was going to squat on the well of the House.
As part of their agitation, LDF has already announced a "protest resistance" tomorrow, in which thousands of LDF volunteers are expected to put a siege of the assembly complex.
Besides LDF, BJP's Yuva Morcha has also announced plans to stage dharna before the Complex.
As a precautionary step, district administration announced holiday for some of the schools in the vicinity of the Assembly Complex.
Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had registered a case against Mani in December last year in connection with the allegation that he had accepted bribe from bar owners to renew liquor licences. The allegations were levelled by Bar Hotel Owner's Association Working President Biju Ramesh.