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Opposition walks out of Assembly over bar bribe issue

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Opposition walks out of Assembly over bar bribe issue
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Thiruvananthapuram: Members of the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) walked out of the Assembly on Monday in protest against the Speaker’s decision to deny leave of the House for an adjournment motion in the bar bribe issue.

The winter session of the Assembly began on a stormy note with the opposition LDF raising the bribery allegation against Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) supremo K M Mani to attack the Congress-led UDF government headed by Oommen Chandy.

Though the Opposition members brought up the issue in the question hour itself, they refrained from disrupting proceedings till the zero hour.

At the outset of the zero hour, CPI (M) Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan raised the matter seeking an adjournment on it and accused the government of trying to shield Mani by weakening the investigation by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB).

LDF members displayed placards and banners demanding the Finance Minister's resignation and lodging an FIR against him.

Rejecting the opposition demand for an adjournment over the issue, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala asserted that the government did not interfere in the probe by VACB, which he said was not a "caged parrot."

Putting up a brave face, Mani rejected the allegation against him that he had received a huge sum from liquor bar owners for favourable decisions.

A leading hotelier, Biju Ramesh, had alleged that the Bar Hotel Owners Association had paid a big amount to Mani, a veteran politician.

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