KOTTAYAM: Igniting a controversy in state politics, ‘Prathichchaya’, the mouthpiece of the Kerala Congress (M), came out with harsh criticism against its own leader P J Joseph and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala for hurting its former leader K M Mani during his final days.
In an article titled ‘K M Mani returned with a heavy heart’, written by its editor Kurias Kumbalakkuzhi, it is alleged Joseph did not stand by Mani during the bar bribery controversy and Ramesh made the case perplex by dragging the investigation for a long time.
Meanwhile, the KC(M) leadership turned down the content of the article and said it was the personal opinion of the writer. KC (M) will also conduct an inquiry into the situation in which the article was published. Though Joseph said he didn’t read the article, he asserted in a meeting organised to commemorate Mani in Pala that the UDF had always stood firm behind Mani.
According to Kurias, he had advised Mani to relinquish the party’s ministerial berths in the previous UDF cabinet when the bar bribery case escalated and to provide support to the government from outside as a token of protest to the way in which the case was handled by the Home Ministry. While Mani was doubtful about Joseph’s response, Kuryas said Ouseppachan (Joseph) would agree if Mani had asked. “It is still mysterious that it didn’t happen,” the article stated.
Joseph said he never uttered a word against Mani during the years-long association with the latter. KC(M) vice-chairman Jose K Mani turned down the content of the article. Party deputy chairman C F Thomas said the article was published without the knowledge of the party. Senior leader Mons Joseph also commented the article was the personal opinion of the writer. However, the article assumes importance that it appeared while the party is on a run up towards electing its new chairman and parliamentary party leader, following the demise of Mani.