The nearly six-month-old CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala led by Pinarayi Vijayan today inducted CPI(M) secretariat member M M Mani into the cabinet. Mani was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Kerala Governor Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam at a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.
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A first time MLA, 70-year-old Mundakkal Madhavan Mani rose from humble beginnings and went on to become the undisputed leader of the trade union movement in Idukki for decades.
Born at Kidangur in Kottayam district on December 12, 1944, Mani came to Idukki along with his parents.
It was a struggle for the family and young Mani was forced to discontinue his studies and work as a labourer to help his family.
He functioned as CPI(M)’s Idukki district secretary for over two decades.
Mani’s induction in the cabinet was to fill the vacancy left by E P Jayarajan, who resigned from the cabinet following allegations of nepotism after he appointed his close relatives to top positions of state PSUs.
Jayarajan was conspicuous by his absence at today’s function.
Mani’s close family members and scores of people from his home district of Idukki had come to the state capital to witness the swearing in ceremony.
The Marxist party had on Sunday recommended induction of Mani in the state cabinet.
A popular leader, Mani was instrumental in setting up trade union movements in many plantations to enable workers get their just dues.
He had stirred controversy by his ‘one, two, three’ speech in 2015 in which he publicly stated that CPI(M) had often eliminated its political foes in Idukki district in the 1980s, following which police registered a case against him for murder and other charges.
Mani was arrested in November 2012 in connection with the case registered for murder of Anchery Baby, a Youth Congress leader, who was shot dead on November 13, 1982.