M M Mani – From villain image to surprise Cabinet entry

Monday, Nov 21, 2016,11:30 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | It was a surprise political elevation for veteran CPM and trade union leader M M Mani who is set to be the new entry into the Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet in Kerala replacing resigned Industries Minister E P Jayarajan.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who will complete six months in office next week, will induct Mani into his cabinet Tuesday. Mani, a state Secretariat member of CPI (M) and first-time MLA, represents Udumbanchola constituency in the hilly Idukki district.

He has also served as the party’s Idukki district secretary for many years.Party states Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan made the announcement after a three-day state committee meeting, which ended on Sunday.

Kodiyeri told reporters that the party had recommended induction of Mani as there was a vacancy following resignation of Industries Minister E P Jayarajan, who was the number two in the cabinet.Jayarajan was forced to quit on October 14 following allegations of nepotism in key appointments in state public sector undertakings.

Asked which portfolio will be given to Mani, Kodiyeri said it will be decided by the Chief Minister. Mani had earlier stirred a controversy by his statement that CPI (M) had often eliminated its political foes in Idukki district in the 1980s, following which police had registered a case against him for murder and other charges.

He was arrested in November 2012 in connection with the case registered for murder of Anchery Baby, a Youth Congress leader, who was shot dead on November 13, 1982.

A visibly elated Mani told reporters that he was very happy and “indebted” to the party for deciding to make him a minister.”My becoming minister was totally unexpected,” he said.