Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 16 June 2024 5.54 AM IST

Kerala govt in tight spot after bar bribery allegations, CB to begin probe on Min Rajesh's complaint


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Left government is on the defensive as the bar bribery allegations that brought down two UDF ministers came back in another form. The opposition came forward demanding the resignation of the Excise Minister. Things are sure to be turbulent when the assembly is about to begin.

The WhatsApp message of the organization leader asking each bar owner to pay Rs 2.5 lakhs each in order to get a relaxation in the liquor policy, including the exemption of dry day, opened the way for the allegation. There are plans to announce a new liquor policy.

Excise Minister MB Rajesh's letter to the DGP to investigate the voice clip was handed over to the Crime Branch. Crime ADGP H Venkatesh will decide the investigation team today.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan and KPCC president K Sudhakaran demanded that the minister should resign due to corruption. CPM state secretary MV Govindan defended that there is no need to resign.

Federation of Kerala Hotel Association Idukki District President Animon sent the controversial audio clip. An executive meeting of the organization was held in Ernakulam on Thursday. The voice message is clearly from the meeting place.

State president V Sunilkumar, who dismissed Animon, announced that he would be suspended from the executive committee for trying to split the organisation. The explanation is that collection of money is for an organizational office in Thiruvananthapuram.

No help without money

The relevant part of the message: The President said some things. New policy will come soon. Dry day on the first day will be removed. If all this is done, we must contribute an amount. So far only one hotel from Idukki has given Rs2.5 lakhs. No one will help us unless we give.

Positions of Mani and Babu fell that day

Biju Ramesh's bar bribery allegations led to the resignation of UDF ministers KM Mani and K Babu in 2014. First revelation was that Mani took Rs 1 crore to open 418 bars. Matters reached a stage where Mani's budget presentation was blocked in the assembly. It is again alleged that 10 crores was paid to reduce the bar license fee. Mani resigned on 10 November 2015 and Babu on 23 January 2016 following court intervention.

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