K M Mani serious
K M Mani in a serious moodCourtesy: madhyamam.com

Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani, who faced a setback from the High Court on Monday in the bar bribery case, continues to defy demands for his resignation from several quarters, including from with the United Democratic Front of which his party is a part.

Kerala Congress (M) leaders declared that their party would withdraw their support to the government if their chief Mani is forced to quit leaving the UDF headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in a dilemma.

A high level meeting of the UDF, scheduled to meet in Thiruvananthap on Tuesday to decide the future course of action, did not take place as the Mani faction refused to attend it.

Chandy had called the emergency meeting of the UDF high power committee to discuss the emerging situation and following the Kerala Congress (Mani) party's refusal to take part in it, is huddled with leaders of the UDF trying to figure out a future course of action.

Chandy's resignation has also been sought by the CPI(M)-led opposition Left Democratic Front as he has been seen to be backing Mani ever since the bar bribery scandal broke out.

Media reports say many of the allies in the UDG want Mani to resign without any pressure from his 'friends' and help the UDF out of its troubles. Congress leaders like V D Satheesan and TN Prathapan had on Monday demanded Mani's resignation from the Cabinet.

Mani is facing intense pressure to resign following adverse remarks made against him by the Kerala High Court on Monday which also gave the green signal for a vigilance probe to continue into the bar bribery case in which Mani is reported to have been given a bribe of Rs 1 crore by a liquor baron.