Veteran Kerala politician KM Mani dead

Our Bureau Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 09, 2019

File photo of former Kerala Finance Minister K.M. Mani   -  The Hindu

The passing away of KM Mani, Chairman of the Kerala Congress (M) party and many-time minister in Kerala, in the midst of campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections leaves it quite in the lurch and brings an end to a political era in the State.

The Kerala Congress (M) is a key constituent of the Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and Mani has had the unique achievement of being part of the State Legislative Assembly for over 50 years.

Mani had to resign as Finance Minister in 2015 after a whistleblower bar owner alleged that Mani had taken crores of rupees from him to get closed bars in the State reopened.

Mani is credited with the record of presenting the State Budget 13 times as Finance Minister. He has been representing the Pala Assembly constituency since its inception in 1964, which is another record.

Besides Finance, he has held various portfolios such as of Revenue, Law, Irrigation, and Home.

He held the distinction of being the longest serving minister in the Kerala government. Son Jose K Mani had won from Kottayam in 2014 but got himself nominated to the Rajya Sabha after the Congress ceded the seat in a controversial move to bring back to the UDF fold the estranged ally over the bar corruption case.

Congress leader and then Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien and senior leader VM Sudheeran were in the forefront in attacking the decision, which they said lacked transparency and had been taken without taking the party into confidence.

The split-prone Kerala Congress (M) had a close shave with another break-up over the choice of a candidate for Kottayam, the lone seat allotted to it in the coming elections, after heir apparent Jose K Mani engineered a coup to win the seat for the official faction.

Published on April 09, 2019

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