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Chandy shielding Mani, alleges CPI(M)

Chandy shielding Mani, alleges CPI(M)

Kottayam: Accusing Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of shielding "tainted" Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar bribery case, CPI (M) Monday said the party will intensify its agitation seeking the resignation of the Kerala Congress (M) leader.

Addressing a press conference here, CPI (M) Kerala State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan claimed there was strong resentment against Chandy even within the Congress for "shielding" the Finance Minister.

"There is strong sentiments against Mani in the UDF. Kerala Congress (M) Vice Chairman P C George has spoken against Mani. Some Congress leaders including former minister Pandalam Sudhakaran have spoken against him. A Youth Congress leader has come out strongly against the Finance Minister.

"But still the Chief Minister is trying to shield him as he is aware that if Mani resigns, his government will fall," Balakrishnan said.

The CPI(M) politburo member said the party would intensify its agitation against Mani in the coming days seeking his resignation on the corruption issue.

Mani, who is the Chairman of Kerala Congress (M), is facing a Vigilance investigation into the allegation that he accepted bribe from bar owners to renew their liquor license.

Meanwhile, police, on a complaint filed by Mani's loyalists, arrested six supporters of George on the issue of alleged ransacking Kerala Congress (M) state committee office here.

Angry over George's public remarks against Mani after he presented the budget on March 13 amid protests by opposition LDF, eight KC(M) legislators headed by Mani have sought removal of George from the post of Government Chief Whip and barring him from attending UDF liaison committee meeting.

Chandy, who is also the Chairman of the UDF, has said he would take a decision on the issue on return from UAE visit.

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