Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 13 (IANS) With a court here on Wednesday dismissing the discharge petition filed by State Education Minister V. Sivankutty and another legislator besides four other former legislators in the assembly vandalism case which took place in 2015, in all likelihood, it could be curtains for the Minister.
The court will read out the charges against these accused on November 22 and has asked all the six accused to appear before it on that day.
Incidentally ever since the Supreme Court in July this year dismissed the plea of the Kerala government to withdraw the cases against their leaders for vandalism of the Assembly in 2015, when the party was in the Opposition, the Congress led opposition have been demanding he quit at the earliest.
The apex court ruled then that all the accused have to face trial and now with the court here also dismissing their discharge petition, it remains to be seen if he will continue in office.
In the past, whenever the Left is in opposition, they have gone hammer and tongs, the moment a court names a Minister as an accused in a criminal case, that the concerned minister has to resign and for that they take to streets and unleash massive protests, but when it comes to them, Sivankutty ruled out any resignation and had said he will face trial.
But, now with the assembly in session, one will have to wait a while on how the Congress led opposition now reacts to the fresh development.
The vandalism took place on March 13, 2015 when erstwhile State Finance Minister K.M. Mani was presenting the state budget for the new fiscal.
The then CPI-M-led opposition had taken a strong stand that Mani, who was accused of taking a bribe of Rs one crore from a bar owner for reopening closed down bars, would not be allowed to present the budget.
When Mani began his speech, the Left legislators went berserk, throwing out the Speaker's chair from the dais and also damaging the electronic equipment on his table.
After the incident, the then Speaker N. Sakthan asked for a Crime Branch police probe.
The list of the other accused includes former State Minister E.P. Jayarajan.
The others include K. Kunju Ahamed, C.K. Sadasivan and K. Ajith, who are now no longer legislators, while K.T. Jaleel, the former Higher Education Minister is a legislator now.
The twist in the tale is that since 2020, the late K.M. Mani's party -- the Kerala Congress (M), now led by his son Jose K. Mani moved out from the Congress led UDF and is presently the third biggest ally of the Vijayan government and has been given a cabinet berth.