In a setback for the CPI(M)-led LDF government, a Kerala court on Saturday rejected the discharge petition of Electricity Minister MM Mani in the Anchery Baby murder case. The development has put Mani’s future as minister in the LDF cabinet in trouble. Mani has been named the second accused in the case while Pampupara Kuttan and O G Madanan have been named first and third accused.
Mani was inducted into the cabinet last month after CPM central committee member E P Jayarajan was forced to quit following allegations that he appointed close relatives as heads and senior officials of PSUs.
The Thodupuzha additional district and sessions court also agreed the prosecution request to include CPM Idukki district secretary K K Jayachandran, CITU leader K K Damodaran in the list of accused persons in the case.
Mani later told reporters that he was not worried after the development and added that he can still challenge the order in higher courts. “I am not going to resign because of the opposition. I have been appointed to this post by the LDF and I will only adhere to what the LDF says,” he said.
Anchery Baby, a Youth Congress leader, was shot dead on November 13, 1982. The case was reopened after Mani had stirred controversy by claiming that his party had often eliminated its political rivals in Idukki district in the 1980s.