As the vigilance court verdict for further probe against Kerala Finance minister K M Mani in the bar bribery case came just before the local bodies election, the Congress-led government in the state has decided to delay moving an appeal against the verdict.
Referring to the elections scheduled for next week, state Congress president V M Sudheeran said the bar bribery issue is now in the people’s court. “It is not appropriate to comment on the demand for Mani’s resignation at this juncture. The UDF has not discussed the issue. We would take a decision at the apt time,” said Sudheeran.
The bar bribery issue emerged as a topic in the final lap of electioneering. Hence, the Congress fears that if the outcome of the appeal is not favourable, it could be a double whammy for the party. The decision to not go for the appeal to seek relief for Mani was taken after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy held discussions with Advocate-General K P Dandapani on the future course of action.
Chandy said the minister need not quit over an adverse remark from the court. A further move would be made only after studying the verdict. “We have faith in the people’s court,” said the chief minister.