KM Mani
K M Mani seen discussing a point with minister P. K. Kunhalikutty while the opposition party members kept protesting during the budget session in the Legislative Assembly at Thiruvananthapuram in 2011. [Representational Image]Creative Commons/Rakesh Nair

Kerala Finance Minister K.M. Mani on Friday presented the 13th state budget amid ruckus created by members of the Left opposition who are demanding his resignation.

They alleged that he took a bribe of Rs.1 crore to reopen the closed down bars in the state.

Members of the opposition damaged Speaker N. Sakthan's chair and computer as the house assembled for the day's proceedings on Friday. The speaker as well as the finance minister were unable to enter the floor of the assembly and had to retreat to their cabins.

Members of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) came to Mani's rescue and escorted him to this seat. He tabled the budget amid high drama, reports IANS.

Outside the assembly complex, the Left and the youth wing of the BJP continued their protest since last evening, pressing for Mani to step down.

Earlier, for the first time in the history of Kerala, the Budget session began with massive protests and clashes within the Assembly.

Here are the latest updates:

    • Police lathi charge protestors
    • Lawmakers throw speaker's chair, mikes
    • Opposition blocks entrance to Kerala Assembly
    • Kerala MLAs climb on top of speaker's table
    • Protests inside Kerala Assembly
    • Kerala Finance Minister KM Mani reads out budget amid protests
    • A Kerala MLA faints inside assembly

The state has been put under high security as the opposition Left party plans protests, particularly in Thiruvananthapuram, to prevent the ruling UDF's Finance Minister KM Mani from presenting the 13th Kerala Budget because of the liquor bar bribery case against him.

In view of the protest, Mani along with 70 MLAs and Chief Minister Ommen Chandy spent the night of 12 March inside the Assembly as opposition had threatened to block his way in to the Assembly complex on Friday for the budget session.

Thousands of protestors of opposition party Left Democratic Front (LDF) and Bhartiya Mukti Morcha have surrounded the comlex to prevent  United Democratic Front's (UDF) Finance Minister from beginning with the budget session.

Following the threat of massive showdown, the state had beefed up security in and around the assembly building and also ordered a holiday for all the educational institutions in the city to ensure peace and safety of citizens, according to news reports.

Chandy has called the allegations against Mani as part of a "political conspiracy" and declared that the Finance Minister will himself present the budget on Friday. Reacting to it, CPI (M) veteran and opposition leader VS Achuthanandan replied saying that the government would be responsible if the "tainted" Mani is allowed to present the budget and Chandy alone would be responsible for that.

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had on 11 December 2014 filed an FIR against Mani, 82, for accepting a bribe of Rs 1 crore for renewing liquor licenses of 418 "sub-standard" bars that were shut down last year. There were allegations that he demanded Rs 5 crore but that the deal was eventually settled at Rs 1 crore.