Kerala’s former Finance Minister KM Mani is back in the spotlight once again after CPM leader and PWD Minister G Sudhakaran made a startling revelation that the Left government had invited senior Kerala Congress leader KM Mani to be Chief Minister. “He (Mani) could have reached greater political heights if he had listened to the LDF,” G Sudhakaran was quoted by Mathrubhumi. He also hinted in his speech that it was a ”temporary post” and it was “beyond what he (Mani) could ever think of” – as reported by Mathrubhumi and Manorama News. Now the editorial of the Kerala Congress mouthpiece “Pratichaya” has stated that the KM Mani had been invited by LDF to become the Chief Minister but that he had rejected the offer. The timing of the editorial is now being viewed as the first official confirmation by the Kerala Congress regarding the rumors about KM Mani being offered the post of Chief Minister of Kerala by the LDF government.
The editorial of the Kerala Congress mouthpiece also hints that there were leaders in the Congress who had wanted to see the downfall of KM Mani to strengthen the party and that the ”Bar Bribery scam” was a result of this. It also points out that while the then Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had termed the scam as ”ridiculous”, Ramesh Chennithala had ordered a vigilance probe on the same. At that time, Pinarayi Vijayan had also said that the bar scam was being played up prominently to stop KM Mani’s political rise. Throughout the build up to the 2016 assembly elections in the state, there were rumors about KM Mani, who was a part of the Congress-led UDF government, switching loyalties to LDF. The speculation was that Mani’s son and MP from Kottayam, Jose K Mani, may be masterminding this transition.
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However, there were no developments thereafter to lend any credibility to these rumors at the time. Although KM Mani severed his ties with the UDF, he did not join the LDF. The latest statement by CPM leader G Sudhakaran and the editorial in the Kerala Congress mouthpiece has now brought all the attention back to KM Mani once again.