Thiruvanthapuram, April 18: Nine months after the third biggest ally of the Congress-led-UDF — Kerala Congress (Mani) — walked out of the alliance, the Congress party on Tuesday said it wished that the alliance partner would return. In August 2016, the Kerala Congress (Mani) led by its supremo K.M. Mani, who completed 50 years as a legislators, at its party meeting decided to walk out of the Congress-led-United Democratic Front. Since then the six legislators of the party have been sitting as a separate block in the 140-member Kerala assembly. It was state Congress President M.M. Hassan who on Tuesday extended the olive branch and wished for their return.
“The UDF is meeting on Friday and this will be taken up for discussion. Mani left on his own and every ally in the UDF, really wish Mani returns. Well once the UDF meets, a more clearer picture would emerge,” said Hassan to reporters. Mani, the then state Fince Minister has been cut up with a section of the Congress party ever since they demanded his resigtion from the Oommen Chandy cabinet in 2015. This was after allegations surfaced that Mani had taken bribe to open closed down bars.
The former Fince Minister found it tough to continue in the cabinet after the Kerala High Court made a stinging remark against him and filly quit. Even though he remained in the UDF and fought the May 2016 assembly polls, in August that year he decided to end the 34 year relation with the UDF and walked out. K.P.A. Majeed, general secretary of the second largest ally in the UDF — the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) told reporters that all know that it was Mani who decided to walk out of the UDF.
“Even though we are yet to get the agenda notes for the Friday UDF meeting, it’s always good to hear the news that the UDF will discuss about his (Mani’s) return,” said Majeed. C.F. Thomas, senior legislator and top party leader of Mani’s party said if there’s any such talk in the UDF seeking our return, it is a welcome decision. “But, in our party, there has been no talks on this at all. May be when we decide to sit down to discuss it, all the issues on why we left and all such things would be discussed threadbare,” said Thomas.
Mani’s longtime former colleague and one with whom he never had a good relation, R. Balakrish Pillai said Mani has no other option but to return to the UDF. “After leaving the UDF, Mani knocked on the doors of the BJP-led-NDA to seek a Ministerial berth for his son (Jose K.Mani, Lok Sabha member from Kottayam) in the rendra Modi government. But knowing that it’s not going to happen, he has no other option but to return to the UDF,” said Pillai. (IANS)