THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : K M Mani should step down as Finance Minister as the State Government has ordered a Vigilance investigation into the bribery charges levelled against him by Kerala Bar Hotels Association (KBHA) working president Biju Ramesh, CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday.
It is significant that Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala had asked Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau director to investigate the allegation close on the heels of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy saying that no investigation was required, Pinarayi Vijayan said.
The government must have ordered the probe on finding that the allegation had some basis. So it is improper for Mani to continue as Finance Minister, he said.
If Mani is not willing to step down, the Chief Minister should expel him from the Cabinet, Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Vijayan also demanded that the role of Chandy and Excise Minister K Babu should be included in the terms of reference of the investigation. The bar scam has further blackened the already-tarnished image of the UDF government, he said, stressing the need for an impartial probe. The Oommen Chandy Government will not think twice about using the Vigilance as a toy in the bar case also to cling on to power.
Bar hotel representatives have alleged that deals worth Rs 15 crore have been struck so far involving ministers.
The government should be able to conduct an impartial inquiry, Vijayan said, urging the public to unite in demanding a fair investigation into the allegation.
Chandy Backs Investigation
Kottayam: With the bar bribary row continuing to rock the UDF Government, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Sunday defended the Home Ministry’s decision to launch a Vigilance inquiry into the allegation against Finance Minister K M Mani.
Chandy said the inquiry was part of the government’s commitment in completing all the legalities in connection with the issues concerned.
He told reporters here that entire issue pertaining to the allegation raised by Biju Ramesh would be investigated. “This is the usual proceeding while acting on a complaint. The Home Minister has already clarified in this regard,” Chandy said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said that no one is going to believe the charges levelled against Mani.