Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 26: Differences between Kerala Congress (M) and Congress, which is heading the UDF, over the bar bribery scam seemingly came to the fore today with KC-M 'boycotting' the Front leaders' meeting here.
KC-M sources, however, said party leader and former finance minister K M Mani, against whom an FIR had been lodged in the case during the previous UDF rule, abstained from the meeting due to 'personal reasons'. Mani had also conveyed to UDF leaders his inability to attend the meeting, sources said.
KC-M is the third largest partner in the UDF. Briefing reporters after the UDF meeting, Front Convener P P Thankachan said Mani did not attend the meeting due to some personal reasons. "The decisions taken in today's meeting was conveyed to Mani," he said.
The already sour relations between the two parties over the scam sharpened recently after Congress leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala attended the betrothal ceremony of the daughter of controversial hotelier Biju Ramesh with the son of Congress leader and former minister Adoor Prakesh.
Biju Ramesh, working President of Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association, was the person who had levelled the bar bribery charge against Mani, which finally led to his resignation in November last year. Significantly, the KC-M mouthpiece had recently come out with two articles accusing Congress behind the scam. KC-M has always said a conspiracy was behind the scam.