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LDF stages dharna, demands resignation of ministers Mani, Babu

LDF stages dharna, demands resignation of ministers Mani, Babu

Thiruvananthapuram: As part of their continued agitation, hundreds of CPI-M-led LDF Opposition activists staged a dharna before the Secretariat here on Thursday and demanded resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani and Excise Minister K Babu, who face bribery charges in the bar scam.

Among those participating in the dharna were LDF MPs, MLAs, chairpersons of local bodies and ward members.

The dharna also had political significance as Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishnan Pilla along with his son K B Ganeshkumar, MLA, participated in the stir against Congress-led ruling UDF, in which they were a partner before they broke away two months back.

CPI(M) veteran and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan lashed out at the ruling coalition and demanded that both Mani and Babu resign without clinging to power.

"More and more evidence against Mani and Babu are coming out on the bar bribery scam', he said and added that both ministers should be subjected to a lie detector test.

LDF has been on the warpath ever since the bar scam surfaced in November last with Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association working President Biju Ramesh levelling charges against Mani and Babu that they had taken bribes.

LDF has alleged that though an FIR was registered against Mani in a Vigilance court after a quick verification probe by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, there has been no further progress in the case.

With regard to the charges against Babu, Vigilance was delaying the case in the name of quick verification probe on the charges, the Opposition alleged.

LDF has demanded a speedy and transparent probe into the scam by the Vigilance.

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