Thiruvananthapuram, March 12: The Left opposition in Kerala is determined to thwart Finance Minister K.M. Mani in presenting his 13th state budget on Friday.
The CPI-M-led Left opposition has been up in arms against Mani after a whistleblower bar owner Biju Ramesh claimed last year that Mani took a bribe of Rs.one crore to reopen the closed down bars in the state.
After a case was registered against Mani, the Left front has been demanding that he step down.
Newly-installed speaker N. Sakthan had to run through the listed business of the day on Thursday even as the entire Left opposition squatted near his podium in the house shouting slogans against Mani and the three Congress ministers.
The entire Left opposition intends to stay back in the house on Thursday night to block Mani’s entry into the house on Friday morning.
But the 81-year-old, who has won every assembly election since 1965 and has already presented 12 state budgets, dismissed these threats as child’s play.
“In my long innings, I have seen numerous protests and this is just another one. I will come and present the budget tomorrow (Friday),” said Mani.
Mani, however, parried questions regarding whether he will stay for the night at the official residence of the deputy speaker located in the assembly complex.
“It’s immaterial where I am going to stay… I have already offered my prayers at the church today (Thursday) morning,” said Mani.
The Left opposition has decided to put up road blocks outside the assembly complex and the youth wing of the BJP will also attempt to block the various gates leading to the assembly complex.
Meanwhile, top police officials have completed their meeting to ensure that things are under control and have readied a 2,500-strong police force to foil any attempt to blockade roads. Also, efforts are to get the house floor vacated on Thursday.
The budget will be presented at 9 a.m.