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Kerala bar bribery row: Youth Congress stages protest demanding resignation of Excise Minister MB Rajesh

A Youth Congress march to the Palakkad Collectorate demanding the resignation of Kerala Excise Minister M B Rajesh over bribery allegations related to the liquor policy turned violent when police used force to disperse protesters. 
 

Kerala Bar bribery row: Youth Congress stages protest demanding resignation of Excise Minister MB Rajesh anr
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First Published May 30, 2024, 3:02 PM IST

Palakkad: A Youth Congress march to the Collectorate turned violent as police used force to disperse the protesters. The march was held to demand the resignation of Excise Minister M.B. Rajesh over bribery allegations related to the liquor policy. A section of protesters attempted to remove the barricade installed by the police on the Collectorate premises. In response, the police used water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Also Read: Kerala: Crime Branch to probe bar bribery allegations after audio clip triggers political storm

During the protest, police arrested participants who staged a sit-in demonstration. Youth Congress chief Rahul Mamkootathil also attended the march. Meanwhile, Youth Congress workers alleged that police personnel misbehaved with female protesters.

A special team from the Crime Branch has been assigned to investigate the alleged bar bribery allegations in Kerala. The decision to investigate comes in the wake of an allegedly leaked WhatsApp voice note from Animon, the Idukki district president of the Federation of Kerala Hotels Association. In the voice note, Animon purportedly asks members to contribute money to influence the formulation of a favorable liquor policy.

Amidst reports indicating that the government was considering the primary demands of bar owners to lift the dry day on the first of every month and to permit the opening of pubs in IT parks, the allegations emerged. However, in the wake of the controversy causing a political uproar, there are indications that the government may reconsider its decision to lift the dry days. Animon allegedly demands Rs 2.5 lakh from each member in the leaked message. 

Also Read: Kerala: Bar owners' claim debunked; Rs 1 lakh sought for building purchase a month ago; Report
 

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