THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association working president Biju Ramesh said on Saturday that the office of Excise Minister K Babu was behind the Vigilance report that exonerated former Finance Minister K M Mani.
In a press meet, he repeated that Mani was given just `1 crore of the `25 crore collected among bar owners and the rest was distributed among the other ministers of the government. “Those who received the money will be exposed if a probe is conducted. That is why it was stopped,” said Biju.
Vigilance Special Investigation Unit SP R Sukesan acted under pressure to submit a favourable report. He complained that Sukeshan submitted the reports without verifying the facts and evidence.
“Sukesan took my statement on 7th, two days after he submitted the report to the Vigilance director. It alone proves that the investigation was farce,” said Ramesh. He said that he had not tampered with the documents and CD submitted to the court. Only an indecent mention was removed, he said.
Polity Leaves Mani, UDF Wary
T’Puram: Mani, in spite of mounting pressure from his camp, is not in a haste to return to the Cabinet. He has not made any comments or dropped hints in public so far, as he knows fully that the bar scam is far from over, legally, and also politically wise at this juncture. The general assessment in the UDF is also on the same line, as all are watching what the Vigilance and higher courts are going to do with the clean chit-tagged probe report. Even when the report was a big political breather for both Mani and the UDF on a whole, front convenor P P Thankachan clarified that legal formalities had to be completed for the return of Mani to the Cabinet.The Vigilance court move is, in a way, a blessing in disguise for Oommen Chandy and the UDF, as any clamour for presentation of the budget by Mani would have posed problems in many ways, including a likely Opposition onslaught in the Assembly and outside.