Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress leading the ruling UDF in Kerala on Wednesday virtually favoured expelling minor partner Kerala Congress (B), from the coalition for its charges against Finance Minister K M Mani, facing allegations in the bar bribery scam, who also got full support from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
"The Government stand on the issue had been made clear earlier also. It has full confidence in Mani and he will present state budget for 2015-16 in the coming Assembly session," Chandy told reporters here after a cabinet meeting.
Earlier, KPCC spokesman M M Hassan said statements against the front leaders while remaining in UDF has "created a crisis in the coalition, indicating that the Congress favoured ouster of KC(B).
Referring to KC(B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai's statement that he would only be happy if removed from the Front, Hassan said, "In the circumstances, the UDF should take steps to free him from the emotional clutches he has with the Front."
Demand for Pillai's ouster from UDF has gained momentum after TV channels aired a controversial telephone conversation in which Pillai allegedly asked hotelier Biju Ramesh to go ahead with his graft charge agaisnt Mani.
Chandy said the bar hotel owners, who levelled charges of bribery (against Mani) had not come forward with any evidence before the Vigilance Investigation team that was probing the issue.
He rejected the report that Vigilance ADGP Jacob Thomas heading the bar bribery probe has been shifted from the post by promoting him as DGP.
The promotion given to Jacob Thomas was a routine one as per rule and he would continue to be in Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Chandy said.