Opposition parties in Kerala are determined to foil Finance Minister’s plan to stay back in the secure confines of the State Assembly so that he can present a record-breaking 13th state Budget tomorrow.

Members of the Opposition too have announced their decision to stay back in the complex for the night, creating a piquant situation for the State Government.

Piquant situation

Mani and his private staff of 14 will spend the Budget eve night so that the Finance Minister could present himself in the Assembly at the appointed hour of 9 am to present the Budget.

But observers are apprehensive what Friday the 13th could have in store for not just Mani himself, who has a Constitutional obligation to present/table the budget, but also for the State Government.

The Opposition has said that it will start massing up their cadres in their thousands around the Assembly complex as part of their protests over Mani’s alleged role in the bar bribes case.

A ‘tainted finance minister’ has forfeited his right to present the Budget, it says.

Prestige issue

But it is now becoming clear while the cadres would just keep their vigil, it would be members of the House who would try and stop the finance minister from reaching his seat with budget papers.

This is unprecedented, and the State Government has not come clear about a plan of action, if it has one, on how it would handle what in could all probability be a potentially ugly situation.

The police have already gone on record saying a 2,000-strong posse would be pressed into service to reach other members of the Cabinet and the rest of the legislators into the House tomorrow.

But the Budget has become a prestigious issue for both parties, and the nonagenarian Finance Minister has dared the Opposition to stop him on his way to his seat tomorrow.