THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Setting ground for political speculations and changing wind, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Wednesday that Kerala Congress supremo K M Mani would stage a comeback to the UDF ministry, once the situation which had induced his resignation vanished. Reacting to the Vigilance report exonerating Mani from the charges levelled in the bar scam for want of concrete evidence, Chandy reiterated at a post-Cabinet briefing that it was on his own volition that he had resigned a few months ago.
‘’Once the circumstances which led to his resignation becomes non-existent, he will come back to the Cabinet,” the chief minister said without elaborating further, but clearly referring to the adverse court remarks based on a Vigilance report filed earlier, which has taken Mani’s scalp. ‘’Is it not the same thing which we were saying about Mani from the beginning? We believe that he had done nothing wrong’’, the chief minister batted, when his attention was drawn towards the fresh report filed by the same investigation officer. When asked whether Mani would also present the last annual budget of the reigning UDF government, the chief minister, however, scooted without giving a direct reply.
Mani landed in the capital by evening and held talks with the chief minister. On his arrival in the city, Mani told the waiting mediapersons that he had always believed that truth would prevail to win. “There is no change in my stand. Let the court decide upon everything,” he said. On his re-entry into the UDF government, Mani said that he did not want to comment on it. “What the chief minister had said was his views,” he said.
The Kerala Congress camp is upbeat over signs of Mani re-emerging from the shadows. The talk of Mani donning the vestige of a minister again and presenting the annual budget has surfaced, though none other than the veteran knows fully well that he has many legal hurdles to cross over for a smooth run. Mani’s resurgence as a minister is linked to many factors which are purely legal now, but the development is surely a political breather for him and the stumped Kerala Congress.