LDF argument on Mani a lame one: Satheesan

Oppn. leader says Jose K. Mani should not forget Left charges against his family

Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan on Wednesday described CPI(M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan’s contention that the LDF had not targeted the late K. M. Mani personally when he was Finance Minister in the Oommen Chandy-led UDF government as rather shaky.

“It is a lame argument. At the time, they accused Mr. Mani and his family of being corrupt and that he had a currency counting machine in his home. If they were not targeting him personally but the UDF in general, why did the CPI(M) and the LDF take the stand that the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy may present the budget, but not Mr. Mani,” Mr. Satheesan asked while participating in a meet-the-press event organised by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists.

Mr. Satheesan said that Jose K. Mani, the Kerala Congress (M) leader and son of Mr. Mani who had shifted allegiance to the LDF, should not forget the previous stand taken by the Left against his father.

Govt. stand

The LDF government had sought the Supreme Court’s nod to withdraw the criminal charges levelled against six LDF MLAs for disrupting the Assembly during the State Budget presentation by Mani in March, 2015. On Tuesday, Mr. Vijayaraghavan had denied media reports that the government’s counsel in the Supreme Court had depicted Mani as a “corrupt Finance Minister”.

The LDF had protested against corruption in the then UDF government as a whole. Back-to-back corruption inquiries had cleared Mani of personal culpability in the bar bribery case, according to Mr. Vijayaraghavan.

“The CPI(M) is changing its tune now,” Mr. Satheesan said on Wednesday.

On the day the 2015-16 budget was to be presented, the LDF had not prevented either Mr. Chandy, the Ministers or the UDF MLAs from taking their seats in the House, Mr. Satheesan said. “They tried to stop only Mr. Mani,” he said.

MLAs cannot claim ‘privilege’ if they engage in criminal activities inside the Assembly, Mr. Satheesan said.

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