Finally, KM Mani opens up: Bar bribe conspiracy was an insider job
- Bar Bribe scam was part of a conspiracy to keep him within the UDF, says KM Mani
-"We know everything about the conspiracy. But won't disclose it out of political decency"
- Mani indirectly confirms talks with the CPM
- Mani hits out at Chandy and Chennithala for attending betrothal ceremony of the daughter of Biju Ramesh
In a revelation that can upset the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, veteran Kerala Congress leader KM Mani, who had to be resigned from the Oommen Chandy ministry following the bar bribery allegations, has opened up for the first time and said that the conspiracy against him was hatched within the front.
Seeing that I might go to the left (Left Democratic Front- LDF), some cases popped up against me to keep me trapped (in the UDF). KM Mani
"Seeing that I might go to the left (Left Democratic Front- LDF), some cases popped up against me to keep me trapped (in the UDF)," the former Finance Minister told Manorama News. "I cannot divulge everything. Politicians need to keep some secrets. I am not spilling it because it can hurt some people," he added.
"People (of Kerala) know everything, There is no need of explanation," he said when prodded to explain whether he was referring to the Bar bribery case that followed the explosive revelations of hotelier-turned-politician Biju Ramesh that he bribed Mani and his cabinet colleagues to get bar hotels closed down during the UDF regime. "We know everything about the conspiracy. But won't disclose it out of political decency," Mani said.
People (of Kerala) know everything, There is no need of explanation. K M Mani
Mani was also critical of Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala for attending the betrothal of the daughter of Biju Ramesh. "They should have avoided a situation that bestowe a prestigious status to Biju Ramesh by attending the function," he said. He backed state Congress chief VM Sudheeran who criticised Chandy and Chennithala for attending the betrothal.
With this disclosure, Mani indirectly confirms, again for the first time, that liaisons between the LDF and Kerala Congress and to sever ties with the UDF when he was serving as the Finance Minister in the Oommen Chandy cabinet. There were reports that top leaders of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) made overtures to Mani in a bid to scuttle the Oommen Chandy government.
Kerala Congress (S) leader P C George, who served as the Govt. Chief Whip during the UDF regime had disclosed in an interview to a Malayalam online news portal Marunadan Malayali, that the CPM offered Chief Minister post to Mani to bring down the Oommen Chandy government. Though Mani was enthusiastic about the offer and wanted to make direct talks with the CPM leadership, he backtracked in the last minute, George claimed.