Veteran Kerala Political Leader KM Mani Passes Away at 86
Kerala Congress (M) supremo and one of the most prolific politicians of Kerala, KM Mani passed away on Tuesday evening. The 86-year-old had been undergoing treatment at the Lakeshore hospital for unknown ailments and had been admitted there since Thursday last week.
Mani’s health had been deteriorating for a while now, resulting him in being frequently hospitalised for chest infections in the recent past. In his most recent stay at the hospital, he was kept under close medical supervision. Visitors’ access to him was restricted so as to avoid further infection.
The veteran politician had a career spanning over five decades and had been leading the KC(M) since its inception in 1979, after it split from the Kerala Congress. Among the factions that came out of the Kerala Congress split, KC(M) is one of the few ones that continues to be prominent.
KM Mani held several portfolios. He was the Finance Minister four times and the Law Minister seven times. However, many of these were not complete five-year terms. He also held portfolios of revenue, home and irrigation. The longest serving member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly for 52 years, Mani represented the constituency of Pala this entire time, getting elected from there in 13 consecutive elections. He had the unique achievement of having presented 13 budgets as the Finance Minister too.
In the last few decades, Mani remained the unquestionable leader of the Kerala Congress (M) party. Even for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he displayed his strength was in the party and batted for Thomas Chazhikkadan, one of his trusted lieutenants, to be made the candidate from Kottayam constituency. Though the party working chairman PJ Joseph was adamant that he would contest from Kottayam - Mani finally managed to garner support of majority of the party workers.
Mani was also an author of several books, including Fiscal Problems of Kerala-Causes and Remedial Measures, The People’s Socialism, The Eighth Five year Plan-an Alternative Approach and Doctrine of Toiling Class to name a few.
He is survived by his wife Annamma Mani, a son and five daughters.
(This story was originally published by The News Minute and has been republished here with permission.)