Veteran Kerala politician K M Mani passes away

Veteran Kerala politician K M Mani passes away

Veteran Kerala politician K M Mani (Image courtesy Twitter)

Veteran Kerala politician K M Mani passed away at Kochi on Tuesday afternoon. He was 86.

Mani, who had been serving as the founder chairman of Kerala Congress (M) party, was a sitting MLA over the last 54 years and also served as a minister in Kerala for 25 years. He was active in Kerala politics till recently, even during the seat-sharing talks for the Lok Sabha polls.

Following a sudden respiratory illness, he was admitted to a private hospital in Kochi on Sunday. But his condition worsened by Monday and he died by Tuesday afternoon.

MLA of Pala constituency in Kottayam district since 1965, Mani has to his credit many records as a politician and parliamentarian, including 54 years of the continuous term as an MLA by winning 13 consecutive elections and presenting Kerala budget for 13 times.

A native of Pala, Mani began his political career as an Indian National Congress worker. He was a founder member of the Kerala Congress party and later formed the Kerala Congress (M), a key coalition partner of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala. His son Jose K Mani is at present Rajya Sabha MP. Mani also leaves behind wife Annamma and five daughters.

Mani was caught up in an embarrassment during his last term as Minister in the previous Congress-led UDF government in Kerala (2011-2016) with a section of bar owners alleging that Mani took a bribe from them offering a liquor policy favourable to them. His last budget presentation in 2015 was also marked with a major bedlam in Kerala Assembly with the Left front, which was the then Opposition, trying to prevent him from presenting the budget owing to the bar bribery allegation.

Mani's last rites will be held at Pala on Thursday, party sources said.