Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Bar Hotels Association (KBHA) working president Biju Ramesh Friday alleged Finance Minister K M Mani had sought Rs 5 crore for facilitating the renewal of the licences of the 418 hotel bars that had been identified by excise officials as “sub-standard” and closed since April.
“Mani had demanded the bribe for re-opening the 418 bars that had remained shut since April this year after the State Government declared them sub-standard,” Biju told reporters here.
“I am ready to undergo any lie detection test in this regard. The minister had demanded Rs 5 crore, but we have given him Rs 1 crore, which was delivered at his residence in Kottayam’s Pala. I am ready to give evidence to any investigating agency in this regard,’’ Ramesh said.
K M Mani, however, denied the allegations, saying that there was a big conspiracy behind it.
The minister said charges were levelled to create the impression that he had been behind the Cabinet decision not to renew bar licences.
“Bar licences do not fall within the purview of the Finance Minister and the charges are fabricated,” he said.