Thiruvananthapuram: Karingozhakkal Mani Mani, who evolved a working class theory of farmers as opposed to the Communists’ bourgeois theory, has left an indelible imprint on Kerala’s politics.
Mani entered politics as mandalam president of the Congress and became a KPCC member in 1959. While he was serving as the Kottayam DCC secretary in 1964, P. T. Chacko of the Congress was the first Oppostion Leader of the Assembly. His loyalists later formed the Kerala Congress under the leadership of K. M. George with the blessings of NSS founder Mannath Padmanabhan. During the first meeting of the Kerala Congress, Mani was with the Congress as DCC secretary.
Mani, who joined the Kerala Congress later, and R. Bala-krishna Pillai, who was its foun-der general secretary, had ego clashes. P. C. George, who oft-en attacked Ma-ni, recalled on Tuesday that Mani had never criticised him.
“Mani Sir was so fond of my father, Planthottathil Chac-kochan who was also a Kerala Congress lea-der. I knew him since my eighth standard and he never broke his decorum,” said George. P. J. Joseph resigned from the LDF government in 2010 and merged his group with Mani's KC (M).
Mani brought in his son, Jose K. Mani, only after providing seats to his loyalists. But there was a tug of war between Joseph and Jose K. Mani which worried Mani.
Mani had switched sides from the Congress to the Left and vice versa. Following the bar scam, he had to step do-wn as finance minister in the Oo-mmen Chandy government on November 10, 2015. Though he was charged in the `1-crore bar bribery case, the Vigilance and Anti-Corru-ption Bureau (VACB) clea-red him.
Mani for-med a separate bloc in the Asse-mbly af-ter leaving the UDF, but rejo-ined it du-ring the Che-ngannur by-election.
Earlier, he was impleaded as the fourth acc-used on the illegal sale of power to a Bangalore-based private company during 1985-86.
But Mani walked aw-ay unsca-thed....