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Mani refrains from revealing names of “conspirators”

Kerla

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Congress(M) chief K M Mani, who was forced to resign as Finance Minister following the High Court’s observations in bar bribery case, today refrained from revealing the names of those involved behind the alleged political conspiracy behind his ouster.
82-year-old Mani, who returned to his home town Pala in Kottayam district from the state capital tonight, had given indications earlier in the day that he would come out with a political explanation on the circumstances leading to his ignominious exit.
However, he did not mention anyone who was allegedly responsible for his present plight even as the huge crowd who gathered there were heard trying to prod him to do so.
The crowd was heard asking him to speak about Excise Minister K Babu against whom hotelier Biju Ramesh had levelled bribery charges.
Babu today alleged that a “deliberate political conspiracy” was hatched at a CPI(M) MLA’s residence last December to target Congress-led UDF government over the issue.
Mani was given a rousing reception throughout the journey by party workers even as pro-CPI(M) DYFI workers waived black flags at this motorcade at Adoor. Police had a tough time controlling the DYFI workers.
A defiant Mani,the seniormost legislator in the cabinet, had to quit on November 10 from the cabinet after the High Court made some stinging observations in the bar bribery scam.
During his speech, Mani hit out at CPI(M) veteran V S Achuthanandan, rebel Kerala Congress(M) leader P C George, who was disqualified as a member of the Assembly by Speaker N Shaktan under the anti-defection law, and Congressman T N Prathapan.
Achuthanandan had remarked that Mani, who was forced to resign on corruption charges, was being given a reception by the people and this amounted to ‘insulting’ the court which had “given the verdict” against him.
Mani retorted by saying VS need not shed tears at his plight, he can save his tears for his son.
According to Mani, during his 50 year political career, he had become acceptable to all, which was not liked by some forces who ‘deliberately’ tried to tarnish it.
“There is no cure for jealousy and baldness”, he said.
“When you laugh, there are many people who laugh with you. But when you cry, you are alone,” he said as the crowd applauded.

PTI