Kerala Left opposition seeks removal of ‘tainted’ minister

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 3 (IANS) The Left opposition on Tuesday demanded that Finance Minister K.M. Mani, charged with accepting bribe, be dropped from the council of ministers to uphold democratic and moral values.

The opposition, led by former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, called on Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam and requested him to ask Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to drop K.M. Mani from the ministerial council.

In its letter to the governor, the opposition pointed out that a cognizable offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against the minister.

Mani was charged with accepting bribe from the officers of Kerala Bar Hotel Association, the letter read.

“The officers of Kerala Bar Hotel Association handed over a bribe of Rs.15 lakh to Mani on March 22, 2014 at his residence, and Rs.35 lakh on April 2, 2014 at his office in Thiruvananthapuram.

“He also received a sum of Rs.50 lakh on March 31, 2014 at his residence at Palai,” the letter read.

Quoting from last week’s judgment by a special vigilance court which ordered a further probe into the alleged acceptance of bribe, the letter said there is prima facie evidence of acceptance of bribe by Mani.

“In the circumstance, we, the undersigned, beseech that the governor should ask the chief minister to drop Mani from the council of ministers immediately.”

“The governor has assured to look into the matter and said appropriate action would be taken regarding the issue,” Achuthanandan later told reporters outside the governor’s official residence.

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