Opposition to step up protest for Mani's ouster, Vijayan rules it out

Kerala Industries Minister Jayarajan had resigned in October past year over charges of nepotism while state Transport Minister AK Saseendran quit his post late last month after an audio clip of him purportedly asking for sexual favours from a woman was played on a newly launched TV channel.

Reacting to Mani's rant, BJP State president Kummanam Rajasekharan said efforts were on to isolate those who stand for truth and justice.

Communist Party of India leader Prakash Babu had a Biblical take on the whole affair: "What I can say about Mani is to repeat what Jesus said - Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing". "I have not insulted women, there are women in my home and village, I have respected them, they know that well", he said. "He has to go", said Radhakrishnan.

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"The stink that emanates from the words of M M Mani against the women activists of Penbilai Orumai make the entire nation to hang its head in shame", she wrote.

He told the assembly today that he had not used any offencive language against women.

"A section of the media is against me".

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State Congress president M.M. Hassan pulled no punches in urging the government to "throw him out of the cabinet" and said the agitation would continue until Mani apologised or quit the cabinet.

Vijayan, replying to the demands of the Opposition, said that Mani has already tendered an unconditional apology and he need not step down.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, who spoke after the protest, called for discussing the urgent resolution by suspending the Q&A session. Media has the entire video of my speech.

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Soon after his speech the opposition trooped into the well of the house, forcing the Speaker to rush through the proceedings listed for the day and wind up the day's sitting. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Monday tried to put up a courageous front saying that Mr Mani had tendered a public apology and that the people of the state would understand it. When the march reached near the venue, the personnel there stopped the march led by Youth Congress leader Rijil Makutty.


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