THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A reported statement by LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan that the LDF had carried out a series of agitation against then finance minister KM Mani during the last UDF government’s tenure knowing that he was not guilty in the bar bribery case has kicked up a row. Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday asked CPM to apologise, while Vijayaraghavan claimed that his statements were distorted.
The controversy gains significance in view of the political developments surrounding the possible entry of the Jose K Mani faction of Kerala Congress (M) into the LDF. Speaking to a vernacular media on Thursday, Vijayaraghavan reportedly said the then Opposition LDF organised protests against Mani knowing he was not guilty. It was a political fight against UDF, not Mani. He said LDF had to organise protests against Mani only because he was part of UDF. The bar bribery controversy was the result of a conspiracy hatched by then CM Chandy to weaken Mani, he said.
On Friday, Chandy termed the revelations as a posthumous honour for Mani and demanded that the CPM should apologise to Mani and his family. Mani’s resignation was one of the most painful experiences in his political life, he said. “Had the revelations come when Mani was alive, it would have been some relief. UDF should take forward the revelations by CPM,” he said.
Vijayaraghavan claimed that his statements were distorted. In a statement issued here, he said the LDF protests against the bar bribery controversy was a political fight against the UDF’s corruption. Stating that he still believes it was a right move, the LDF convener added that Oommen Chandy is the originator and beneficiary of the bribery controversy. It’s Chandy who should apologise to Mani’s family, he added.