Kerala Congress (M) Wednesday claimed that party chief K M Mani had saved the previous UDF government, which had survived on a thin majority, by not accepting an “offer of chief ministership” to him from the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front opposition.
In an article published in the party mouthpiece, “Pratichaya”, the party, which severed ties with UDF following bar bribery allegations against Mani after assembly elections last year, said history would have been something different, had he then accepted the ‘offer’ made by the LDF.
It said Mani did not accept the offer as he had no intention to topple the Congress-led UDF government in which KC(M) was a key partner. This is the first time the KC(M) is talking about the reported move made by the LDF leadership during the UDF rule. Mani was finance minister in Chandy’s cabinet till he quit following the bar bribery allegations. The mouthpiece also claimed that the bar bribery allegations were deliberately created to destroy Mani, “who is a shining star” in Kerala politics.
It quoted a statement reportedly made by senior CPI(M) leader and state PWD Minister G Sudhakaran recently that there was a move within the LDF to accommodate Mani. Describing Sudhakaran as a “honest man”, the mouthpiece said what he hinted about the move was not false.
Addressing a meeting in Idukki district last week, Sudhakaran had reportedly said Mani would have got a good position, if he had listened to the LDF. Responding to the article, Mani said what has appeared in Pratichaya was its observation and he was not denying it
He said he had never tried to betray the UDF. Severing his three-decade old ties with Congress-led UDF last year, Mani had said his party would maintain equidistance from both UDF and the ruling LDF.
Mani left the UDF after Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala attended the betrothal ceremony of the daughter of controversial hotelier Biju Ramesh with the son of Congress leader and former minister Adoor Prakash.
Ramesh, working President of Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association, had levelled the bar bribery charge against Mani, which finally led to his resignation in November 2015. CPI-M leaders were not immediately available for comment.