Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition’s protest against Finance Minister KM Mani presenting the Kerala Budget took a tragic turn, Friday, when a Left supporter died after he suffered a heart attack during clashes with the Police outside the Kerala Assembly.
The unfortunate incident occurred even as thousands of Left and BJP Yuva Morcha activists continued to lay siege to the assembly. The protesters hurled stones at police and they in turn used teargas shells.
The Kerala Assembly also witnessed pandemonium and ugly scenes as Finance Minister K M Mani, facing allegations in the bar bribery issue, presented the state budget amidst stiff resistance by LDF-led Opposition who tried all means to thwart his attempt.
With the CPI (M)-led LDF having announced that they will go to any extent to prevent Mani from presenting the budget, it was expected that the Assembly will witnesses a tumultuous day but the scenes that played out today morning were unprecedented.
As the LDF had declared that all roads leading to the Assembly would be blocked, Mani and some of his colleagues stayed back in the Assembly complex since yesterday's session.
Members of LDF-led opposition, who were stressing their demand for resignation of Mani over the bar bribery issue, also stayed back in the Assembly after yesterday's session and sat in the well of the House since morning.
Opposition MLAs, including senior leaders and women members, were adamant in their stand that they would not allow the "tainted" minister to present the budget.
They also laid siege at the entrance of the Assembly hall to check Mani from entering there.
However, Mani managed to enter the Assembly, amidst bedlam, through the back door and read out some excerpts of the budget in the guard of watch and wards and tabled it before the House.
There was also a scuffle between the opposition members and watch and wards.
Meanwhile, a group of LDF MLAs rushed to the Speaker's dais and threw his chair out of podium.
CPI(M) MLA V Shivankutty, who felt uneasiness amidst the chaos, was given first-aid.
Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had registered a case against Mani in December last year in connection with the allegations that he had accepted bribe from bar owners to renew liquor licences.
The allegations were levelled by Kerala Bar Hotel Owner's Association Working President Biju Ramesh.