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UDF reinforces faith in Mani facing bribery charge

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UDF reinforces faith in Mani facing bribery charge
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Thiruvananthapuram: Dismissing as "baseless" the charges against state Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar bribery scam, ruling Congress-led UDF in Kerala Wednesday reinforced its faith in him and rejected opposition CPI-M led LDF's demand for his resignation.

A meeting of the liaison committee of the UDF extended full support to Mani who is a leader of Kerala Congress (M) and resolved that he would present the state budget in the coming assembly session, ignoring the threat by the opposition to disrupt the proceedings.

Briefing reporters about the meeting, UDF Convener P P Thankachan said the front was of the opinion that "the allegations against Mani are baseless without any iota of truth".

LDF and BJP were attacking the government based on the charges hurled by bar owner Biju Ramesh with a view to take political mileage on the issue, he charged.

In November last, Ramesh had alleged that Mani had been given a hefty sum on the promise that he would help reopen some closed liquor bars. An FIR has been lodged in the matter for a detailed probe.

The opposition parties have stepped up their agitation for Mani's resignation. Mani, however, has rejected the charges and said he was a "victim of character assassination and political conspiracy".

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has also backed Mani saying the government had full faith in him and he would present the budget for 2015-16.

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