Kochi: The induction of CPM sate secretariat member M.M. Mani, shot into fame with the outrageous ‘one, two, three’ statement linked with killing political rivals, into the state cabinet may not be the right signal to enhance the image of the ministry headed by Pinarayi Vijayan or the CPM in Kerala. The decision to go for minor cabinet reshuffle, a surprise move, to induct the strong man from Idukki as the likely electricity minister, is a clear indication that allegiance to the chief minister will be rewarded.
Mr Mani was instrumental in bringing the entire Idukki district committee to the Pinarayi camp during the days of bitter feud between the Pinarayi and VS factions in the party. Mr Mani parted company with his mentor VS as the latter took the issue of encroachment in Munnar.
Besides rewarding the proximity to Mr Vijayan, the CPM also hopes that the decision to make Mr Mani a minister will have positive impact on the powerful Ezhava community, the main electoral base of the CPM in the state. The lack of an Ezhava representative from Travancore region in the cabinet has been a point highlighted by many during the time of formation of the Pinarayi cabinet.
Mr Mani, despite having a reputation for his acerbic tongue, has powerful symbolic value as representative of the subaltern sections of society. Belonging to family migrated from plains to the high range areas of Idukki district, Mr Mani came up in life through real hard work organising plantation workers who were living at the mercy of powerful landlords. His formal education ended at fourth standard but he is known for his excellent organisational and leadership skills.
The selection of Mr Mani has also seen as a snub to the CPI leadership, which had launched a campaign against him following his outbursts against CPI ministers....