Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s finance minister KM Mani, who is in the thick of corruption charges, is now facing a new form of protest. Angry netizens have started flooding him with money orders — from Rs 5 to Rs 500 — as they loosened their wallet in style for the ‘poor minister’.
In a day they doled out more than Rs 15,000. There were no online transactions, the money was sent directly to the minister’s address at Pala in Kottayam district. The postmen are in a tizzy on what to do with the milling money order invoices.
The veteran minister, who has a political career spanning five decades was recently accused by bar owners of taking a Rs. 2 crore bribe to ensure a lenient liquor policy. The state vigilance is now investigating the case.
The social media campaign began with young south Indian director Aashiqu Abu, who is also a social activist, posting a message on Facebook: “We must collect some more crores for our Mani sir who does not have money to feed himself. Here’s my contribution of Rs 500.”
He also posted on Facebook a money order receipt for Rs 500. Kerala’s geek army picked up the cue and created an exclusive page called ‘ente vaka 500,’ meaning ‘here’s my 500’.
The page had more than 9,000 likes in no time. To spice it up some wordsmiths coined new slogans and others added caricatures lampooning corrupt politicians.
“It really shows the angst of our youngsters. I hope such campaigns will help open some eyes,” said veteran journalist and activist B RP Bhaskar welcoming the new campaign.
This is the first time Kerala’s netizens have turned their ire against politicians. In recent years, they were buzzing during the ‘kiss of love’ campaign against moral policing and the ‘pink chaddi’ campaign against Sri Ram Sene’s Pramod Muthalik.
Minister KM Mani is yet to react to the ‘money order campaign.’