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State Appropriation bill passed amidst LDF protest

State Appropriation bill passed amidst LDF protest

Thiruvananthapuram: The Assembly Thursday passed the State Appropriation bill-2015 amidst protest by CPI-M-led LDF Opposition against Finance Minister K M Mani over the bar bribery scam and adjourned for the day.

As soon as Mani stood up to introduce the bill, Opposition members were on their feet and raised slogans demanding resignation of the Finance Minister, against whom an FIR has been registered by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in the bar bribery case.

CPI-M veteran and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said Mani being a 'tainted' minister should not introduce the Bill.

He alleged that government by using the Vigilance department exonerated Mani from the case.

With Opposition continuing their agitation in the House, Speaker N Sakthan carried on with the process of introduction and passing of the Appropriation bill. Later, the House passed the bill without discussion.

Mani said he was not making his customary speech on the bill, but was placing it on the table.

Members from the ruling bench who spoke on the bill came down heavily on the Opposition members' approach in the House and said LDF was only trying to hoodwink the people by their stir as all the agitations carried out by them against the government in the last four years failed miserably.

They also highlighted the achievements of the UDF government, especially the dream scheme 'Karunaya benevolent fund' that provided medical treatment expenses to people, envisaged by Mani.

The Opposition, on the other-hand, sat in the well of the House and raised slogans demanding the resigantion of Mani over the bar bribery case.

The Vigilance had recently submitted a report in the court of Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge (Vigilance), seeking closure of the case.

Vigilance held that there was no evidence to frame charge sheet against Mani that he had demanded and accepted bribe as alleged by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association Working President Biju Ramesh.

The case is pending in court.

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