Kerala bar bribery case: With KM Mani in rival front, verdict becomes face-saver for LDF

After Mani returned to the UDF recently, the Left has now got an opportunity to hit back.

Published: 19th September 2018 02:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2018 04:30 AM   |  A+A-

KM Mani (Photo) | File/EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Vigilance court verdict rejecting the VACB report giving a clean chit to KM Mani has come as a face-saver and relief for the LDF, which once tried to woo the veteran leader to the Left fold. After Mani returned to the UDF recently, the Left has now got an opportunity to hit back.
Mani was forced to quit the Oommen Chandy cabinet following protests and pressure from the then Opposition LDF. Back then, Mani had sent out signals of dissent over the stance taken by certain UDF leaders in the bar bribery case. He had even made his dissent public many a time.

Meanwhile, the BJP-led Third Front was sending feelers to KC(M). Though there were reports that the KC(M) could join the Third Front, the move didn’t materialise.Mani made his dissent with the UDF public soon after the 2016 Assembly election when Pinarayi Vijayan came to power. In August 2016, KC(M) parted ways with the UDF. It even opted to sit as a separate block in the Assembly.

During the UDF tenure, the Vigilance had filed a report giving a clean chit to Mani. After the Left came to power, the Vigilance continued with the same stance, giving rise to speculation that the Left was cosying up to Mani.

KC(M) was hoping for an entry into the Left fold. The LDF was also considering the option seriously, despite opposition from the CPI. CPM leaders talked about the need to strengthen the Left Front by inducting new parties. Despite opposition, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran and Mani shared stage at the CPM state conference in Thrissur.However, with multiple factors in play, including opposition from the CPI and CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan, Mani’s Leftward turn came a cropper. Finally, the Mani group went back to the UDF in June.


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