A court earlier ordered that a case should be filed against Kerala minister K Babu.
In a setback to the United Democratic Front government in Kerala, excise minister K Babu resigned today after the vigilance court in Thrissur ordered for a First Information Report or FIR to be filed against him over bribery charges.
Biju Ramesh, a leading hotelier and owner of several bars in Kerala, has alleged that K Babu had accepted a bribe of Rs. 10 crore out of which a portion was directly paid within the secretariat.
This is the second minister from the Congress-led Oommen Chandy government, who has had to resign over corruption and bribery allegations. Last year, in November, then Finance Minister KM Mani resigned after a high political drama and under much pressure after an FIR was filed against him.
Addressing a press conference in Kochi, K Babu maintained that he had handed over his resignation to Chief Minister Chandy and was quitting on moral grounds even though no FIR had been registered against him as of now.
Earlier in the day, the Vigilance Court in Thrissur directed the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to register a case against Mr Babu over corruption charges against him in the scam.
In an apparent reference to the new policy of the UDF government to prohibit more than 700 bars from selling hard liquor, Mr Babu described himself as a "martyr" of a "conspiracy" for implementing a government scheme for "the welfare of the society
According to the new liquor policy introduced by the UDF government in Kerala, hard liquor is allowed to be sold only at 5 star hotels and government outlets. The rest of the bars are allowed to serve just beer and wine.
Mr Chandy has maintained that his ministers are clean and that the allegations are a part of political conspiracy.