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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightMLAs too had taken...

MLAs too had taken bribes: Biju Ramesh

MLAs too had taken bribes: Biju Ramesh

Thiruvananthapuram: With two State ministers already facing a vigilance probe over receiving bribes from bar owners, whistle-blower bar owner Biju Ramesh on Sunday threatened to reveal names of more UDF politicians who have received Rs.24 crore in the past four years.

"The bribes have been given not just to state ministers but also to legislators of the ruling United Democratic Front," Ramesh told reporters here.

Ramesh created a major stir last October when he alleged that office bearers of the Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association had given a bribe of Rs.1 crore to state Finance Minister K.M.Mani. In March, he further alleged that Excise Minister K. Babu was given Rs.10 crore.

The money, according to Ramesh, was given to ensure that the functioning of the bars will not be affected when the new liquor policy comes into effect.

Ramesh's new disclosures followed the Association, in its executive meeting held at Kochi on Saturday, deciding to support Ramesh who has already given a statement before a magistrate and is also facing a defamation case filed by Babu.

"I have with me the list of all those who received money from us and it will be revealed after the next executive meeting that will be held in the coming week," he added.

The bar owners are now cut up with the government after the Kerala High Court gave the nod to the new liquor policy which came into effect from the start of this fiscal and has resulted in the closure of more than 700 bars in the state, leaving only 24 five-star hotels with functioning bars. Most of the closed down bars now operate as wine and beer parlours.

Liquor, however, is available in around 330 retail shops that belong to the state government.

Meanwhile, estranged former chief whip P.C. George of the Kerala Congress-Mani, who lost his post after taking on his party leader Mani, on Sunday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe to get to the truth in the bar bribery scam.

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