Kerala: KM Mani speaks at CPM meet, triggers speculationhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-km-mani-speaks-cpm-meet-5075980/

Kerala: KM Mani speaks at CPM meet, triggers speculation

In his address, Mani did not speak about a possible alliance with the CPM, but showered praise on the CPM-led governments in the past.

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Mani, a long-term ally of Congress in Kerala, had left the Congress-led UDF after the last Assembly elections in 2016. (File)

Kerala Congress (M) chairman and former finance minister K M Mani on Friday addressed a seminar that was part of the CPM’s ongoing state conference in Thrissur. Mani’s presence at the seminar has aroused much interest against the backdrop of CPM’s bid to expand the base of the LDF disregarding the protest from its ally CPI. Another speaker at the seminar on “Kerala today, tomorrow,” was CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran, who has been the most vocal critic against CPM’s bid to bring Mani into LDF fold.

Mani, a long-term ally of Congress in Kerala, had left the Congress-led UDF after the last Assembly elections in 2016, alleging that Congress was behind the bar bribery scandal in which he is facing a vigilance probe. In his address, Mani did not speak about a possible alliance with the CPM, but showered praise on the CPM-led governments in the past.

Addressing the seminar, Rajendran, expressed his reservation against inducting Christian-dominated Kerala Congress (M) inot the LDF. “The minority communities very well know that only LDF would help them,” said Rajendran, indicating that the LDF does not require Mani as a bridge between the Left and the Christian community.

While briefing on the day’s proceedings of the state conference, CPM central committee member A Vijayaraghavan said Mani hasn’t made his political stand clear after quitting the UDF. One party in the LDF cannot decide on inducting Mani and it would have to be decided collectively, he said.