Thiruvananthapuram: Disgruntled Kerala Congress(M) supremo K M Mani, who resigned as Finance Minister under pressure in the bar bribery case, Thursday made a veiled attack against his former cabinet colleague and Excise Minister K Babu, on the bribery charges against the latter.
"The allegation against me was hearsay. But in this case, he (Biju Ramesh) said he has directly given the money. I cannot make any comment about that"...., Mani said after the hotelier had come out saying that he was prepared to furnish evidence of bribery charges against Babu.
Biju Ramesh, Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association Working President, had first raised the allegations of bribery charges against Mani, finally culminating in his resignation.
Mani said UDF has "not denied justice to me. Chief Minister (Oommen Chandy) has openly said there is no room.... No ground for K M Mani to tender his resignation. He fully supported me. In the beginning itself I said...I expressed willingness to give the resignation. There was no pressure from my party".
However, when the issue became controversial, Mani made a U-turn saying he had not said anything against Babu.
According to Mani's office sources, his statement had been "misinterpreted".
Opposition leader V S Achuthanadan had yesterday shot off a letter to the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau Director seeking a 'quick verification' on the charges by Biju Ramesh that he had paid bribe to Babu for reducing the licence fees of bar hotels.
Meanwhile, Biju Ramesh said he was planning to move the High Court with fresh evidences seeking quick verification against Babu.
Details of his statement given to the vigilance bureau under IPC section 165 (offences by or relating to public servants) also reached the public domain Thursday.