KM Mani Hobnobs with CPM in Kottayam District Panchayath

V.S Achuthanandan
KM Mani Hobnobs with CPM in Kottayam District Panchayath
Author

06 May, 2017

Jose K Mani has come out in criticism of the Congress amidst the latter's strong criticism of Kerala Congress (M) joining hands with CPM in their victory in the Kottayam district panchayat elections.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala chose to take legal action against the alleged anti-woman remarks in a speech made by state electricity minister MM Mani, a CPM leader. "But at the same time, Mani is bound to answer a few questions regarding the pact", he said at a function at the Press Club.

"How will Kottayam DCC get our support if they constantly hurt our party workers?" What played out in the Kottayam district panchayat president election on May 3 certainly gives such an indication. Describing KM Mani as the ideal symbol of "corporate-mafia politics", James said he also represents the anti-communist alliance formed in 1957 against the first communist government.

Mani also dismissed the UDF's threat that the KC (M) had closed the door to returning to the UDF by aligning with the CPI (M).

Despite distancing itself from the Congress and the UDF, Mani's party had been by and large supporting the opposition in the Assembly and even walking out on issues with them. We have many a time fought the election alone and even won. Activists have also posted the photographs CPM legislators creating a ruckus in the state assembly over Mani presenting the budget in the wake of the allegations in bar bribery and other scandals.

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On Wednesday, the troika of Congress leadership in Kerala-leader of the opposition Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and working president M.M. Hassan-strongly condemned the KC (M).

The election was necessitated by the resignation of Congress member Joshy Philip from the president post following his appointment as DCC president.

Facing flak from various quarters, including Congress and a powerful section within the party over the ties with CPI (M), Mani had yesterday said the decision to seek support of the state's ruling party was unfortunate and it was taken at the local level.

Pannyan Raveendran, CPI leader, told reporters on Wednesday that the Kottayam episode could be only seen as a tactical move and that there are no plans for LDF expansion. "If KC (M) joins LDF, then CPI will lose its powers, and it feels threatened by the idea", he said.


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