Using social media to launch a unique protest against corruption, angry netizens have started using Facebook to shame Kerala finance minister KM Mani, a senior politician and Kerala Congress (M) supremo, who was accused taking a hefty sum as bribe from bar owners.
A social media campaign called 'ente vaka 500', which means 'here's my 500', began on Facebook after South Indian director and social activist Aashiqu Abu posted a message on Faceook saying, "We must collect some more crores for our Mani sir who does not have money to feed himself. Here’s my contribution of Rs 500," according to Hindustan Times.
The report added that the 'ente vaka 500' Facebook page got more than 9000 likes. This is the first time Kerala's netizens used the internet to protest against a politician.
Earlier in December 2014, the CPI(M)-led LDF opposition on Friday protested in the Kerala Assembly demanding resignation of Finance Minister KM Mani in the wake of the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau filing an FIR against him in the bar bribe scam.
81-year-old Mani, however, ruled out his resignation, holding that registration of a case does not warrant that and he will prove his "innocence".
Case against Mani under Sections 7 and 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act was registered on the basis of statements given by some of those questioned by investigators as part of "quick verification" into the allegation made in November, 2014.
"Neither I nor my party have received any money from Bar owners and the charges are baseless," Mani had said, adding that there was a conspiracy behind the allegation.
The bar bribery row was triggered after Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Working President Biju Ramesh alleged that the association had paid Rs 1 crore to Mani who, he charged, demanded Rs 5 crores for favourable decisions on reopening 418 bars closed since April last.
(With inputs from PTI)
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Updated Date: Jan 21, 2015 22:33:12 IST