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Minister Babu cancels official programme fearing protests

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Minister Babu cancels official programme fearing protests
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Thrissur: Excise Minister K Babu, who is facing bribery allegations in bar scam, on Friday decided to stay away from a official programmers following protests from youth organisations.

Babu, against whom hotelier Biju Ramesh raised bribery allegations in bar scam, was supposed to be the chief guest of honour at the passing-out parade of Excise Academy here. He, however, cancelled the programme fearing protests by DYFI and Yuva Morcha.

After the resignation of Kerala's Finance Minister K.M. Mani in the bar bribery scam, whistle-blower bar owner Biju Ramesh had said Babu too was bribed and he personally went to the office of Babu in the state secretariat and handed over Rs.50 lakh in cash.

Ramesh on Thursday alleged that the vigilance department "played foul" with his petition that Babu too was a "culprit".

"It was me who handed over Rs.50 lakh to Babu's office. The vigilance did not probe this charge of mine against Babu in the way it should have been done. But I am not going to sit idle, and I will take forward this case to its logical conclusion," Ramesh told reporters on Thursday.

Turning up the heat on Babu, K M Mani also made a veiled attack against him saying the bribery allegations against the Congress minister were more serious.

"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.

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