No going back from liquor policy: CM

Friday, Nov 7, 2014,21:08 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | When the Bar bribe row took new turns today with a drift in the bar owners side vivid, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in Kozhikode that there was no question of the government going back from the decisions it had taken. He chose to stick to his stand that the government had nothing to hide.
Refuting the allegation, Home minister Ramesh Chennithala said the controversy was an attempt to topple the UDF Government and it would not succeed. ‘If they have any evidences, they should hand it over to the Vigilance team probing the matter’, he added.
Fully backing the government, KPCC President V M Sudheeran said that the controversy was an attempt to sabotage the new liquor policy of the government with the support of international liquor lobby.
Meanwhile, BJP state president V Muraleedharan wanted Mani to quit and the government go in for a CBI probe.
The UDF Government has come under a cloud after Ramesh alleged that Mani, a veteran politician and Kerala Congress (M) supremo, had demanded a hefty sum from the bar owners for re-opening 418 bars closed down earlier this year for want of required facilities.
Kerala Congress is the third largest component in the UDF having two members in the state cabinet. The Government has ordered a quick verification by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to find whether there was any substance in the charge.
The Government had a few months ago tightened the liquor policy by ordering closure of all the bars except those attached to five-star hotels with the aim of leading the state to total prohibition within a decade.
The issue is now pending before the High Court after the bar owners challenged the decision.