Kochi | Kerala’s Excise Minister K Babu, who is facing heat over bar bribery scandal, today alleged that a political conspiracy was hatched at a Communist Party of India, Marxist CPI(M) MLA’s residence last December to target the United Democratic Front (UDF) government over the issue.
A deliberate political conspiracy was hatched at a CPI (M) MLA’s residence on December 15 last year to target the UDF government over the bar bribery episode, Babu said. The Minister, however, did not disclose who were involved in the conspiracy against the UDF government.
K Babu, a close confidant of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, also said he was not scared of Kerala Congress (M) chief K M Mani, who yesterday claimed that the allegation against Babu in the bar bribery matter was direct, while in his case it was hearsay.
K Babu, a Congress minister, said Mani is a senior leader and he would never make any attempt to weaken the Congress-led UDF government in the state. K Babu claimed that those who have levelled bribe allegations against him have given contradictory statements to the probe agency Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau which exonerated him after the preliminary investigation into the case.
Mani, who had tendered his resignation on Tuesday after pressure mounted from UDF for his stepping down in the bar bribery scandal, had said the allegation against me was hearsay. But in this case, Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association Working President Biju Ramesh said he has directly given the money. I cannot make any comment about that.
Mani’s remarks targeting Babu came yesterday after the hotelier had come out saying that he was prepared to furnish evidence of bribery charges against the Excise Minister. Asked whether he was scared of Mani, Babu shot back, saying, Why should I be scared of Mani? … Mani has clearly said he would never make any attempt to weaken the UDF.
K Babu also noted that Mani himself had said that he had not said anything against him. Biju Ramesh, who had first raised the allegations of bribery charges against Mani, finally culminating in his resignation, has trained his guns on Babu renewing his charge that Rs 10 crore was given to the Excise Minister for renewal of licences of liquor bars.