THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress supremo K M Mani who passed away last month was an unparalleled leader, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. On the first day of its monsoon session, the Assembly paid glowing tributes to the leader, who had served more than five decades as a legislator. In his obit reference, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan termed Mani’s absence an irreparable loss.
“He used to present issues after in-depth studies. He always maintained a youngster’s mind and was eager to learn,” the Speaker said.
Mani played a crucial role in changing the course of Kerala’s coalition politics, he added. Pinarayi said Mani holds a rare position in the Parliamentary history. He was a model for both young and senior legislators and his punctuality in the House should be followed by MLAs. His walkout speeches should be a model for legislators. Kerala has not seen such a great leader of coalition politics, said Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala. With a long 54 years as MLA, Mani had done a lot for the farmers. It was he who had introduced the agriculture labour pension.
IUML leader M K Muneer recalled how Mani always maintained a soft corner for the downtrodden. Referring to the cochlear implant scheme that helped about 600 families, he said Mani was always willing to keep budgetary allocation for charity initiatives. It was Mani who first stressed on the need to have proper Centre-state relations, recalled KC(M) leader P J Joseph.
BJP legislator O Rajagopal remembered Mani as a tactician who could overcome roadblocks when it comes to implementing new schemes. P C George, a known critic of Mani, urged the government to come up with a suitable memorial for Mani through the Parliamentary study centre in the Kerala Assembly.
Restore Karunya scheme, UDF urges govt
T’Puram: A unified opposition urged the government to restore the Karunya Benevolent fund scheme, which is a brainchild of K M Mani, as a tribute to the late leader. The leaders underscored the need to bring back the Karunya scheme in its original form. Irrespective of political affiliations, leaders in the opposition bench including opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, IUML’s M K Muneer, KC(M)’s P J Joseph, KC(J)’s Anoop Jacob, BJP’s O Rajagopal and lone independent in the House P C George stressed on the need to maintain the scheme. “Restoring the Karunya scheme would be the biggest tribute for K M Mani,” said Chennithala while others too raised the same demand. KC(B)’s Ganesh Kumar also pointed at how the scheme has been a major help to the patients.