Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy came under attack at the Kerala PCC meeting here with a leader slamming him for ‘undue’ support to KC-M leader and Finance Minister K M Mani, facing bribery charges in the bar license scam.
Party vice-president V D Satheesan attacked the government and the Chief Minister, saying Chandy was showing undue support to Mani and Government Chief Whip P C George, who frequently embarrassed the government with his anti-government remarks, party sources said.
In view of a directive that no controversial topics be taken up for discussion, the meeting mainly focused on the matters connected with functioning of various government departments. However, at the fag end of the meeting, the Mani issue cropped up leading to heated arguments. Satheesan also alleged that Congress was trying to protect corrupt persons.
Countering the charges levelled against Chandy, another KPCC vice-president M M Hassan said all steps initiated in bar scam were based on coalition principles. Congress has the responsibility to protect Front partners, he pointed out.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, KPCC President V M Sudheeran, however, said there was no division in Congress over the approach to the bar scam. Congress was against corruption and would continue to fight it, he said.
Stating that Congress was united in the state, he said bar scam was not discussed at the meet, but some references were made.
Making it clear that there was no politics involved in registering an FIR against Mani in the bar bribery case, Sudheeran said it was the decision of the investigating team. He also said so far no evidence has come out to substantiate charges against Mani.
Ruling out resignation of three Congress ministers against whom a bar owner had levelled corruption charges, Sudheeran said it was an allegation of a bar owner who incurred loss due to the new liquor policy. Anyone can bring allegations, but nothing has come out to substantiate the charges, he added.
KPCC passed a resolution against the ‘anti-farmer’ policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. Another resolution hailed the new liquor policy that was ratified by High Court.
The policy aimed at reducing the availability of liquor and liquor consumption was on the right path, the resolution said.
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