The sad demise of Kerala's veteran Congress leader KM Mani, popularly known as 'Mani Sir', has marked the end of an era for the Kerala Congress (M). The 86-year-old leader passed away on Tuesday, April 9, due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) at Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi. Mani was admitted at the hospital due to respiratory-related issues and his condition had worsened before he passed away.
Mani was a prominent leader of the Kerala Congress, who represented Pala constituency of Kottayam district in Kerala since its inception in 1965 till his death. He also holds the record of retaining a constituency for such a long period of time.
With his venerable record in the politics from the past six decades, Mani was well respected among the people of Pala, mostly the Christian community. As a student, Mani was also a part of the Indian freedom struggle.
The political journey
An advocate by profession KM Mani entered the Kerala political scenario during the early 50s as an active member of the Congress party. He came to the forefront after a few party leaders had quit Congress and formed Kerala Congress.
Since 1965, when he was elected to the Kerala assembly, Mani's name had represented Pala. He was the longest-serving legislator who was undefeated in the assembly.
Mani was also alleged to have created several fractions in the party which has led to various internal disputes and splits. In 2015, Mani had to resign his position as the finance minister in November 2015 after he was allegedly involved as the main figure in the Kerala BAR licence scam and bribery case Of Rs 1 crore.
- Secretary of Kottayam District Congress Committee - 1960 to 1964
- Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Pala constituency - 1967-2016
- Minister of Home Affairs - (April 1977 to September 1978) and (October 1978 to July 1979)
- Minister of Finance and Law - (January 1980 - October 1981), (December 1981-March 1982), (May 1982-March 1982) and (March 1982-March 1986)
- Minister of Irrigation and law - 1987
- Minister of Revenue and Law - 1987
- Minister of Revenue and Law - June 1991 to March 1996
- Minister of Revenue and Law - 2001 to 2006
- Initiated Karunya Lottery Benevolent Scheme - 2011
- Minister of Finance - 2014 to 2015
- Chairman of Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Services Tax (GST) - 2015
Achievements and Contributions
He holds several records in the state including the longest-serving member of the Kerala Assembly and the longest-serving minister of the state. During his tenure as the finance minister, he had presented the state budget 13 times, which is the highest number presented and a rare distinction till date in the Kerala Legislative assembly.
He has also written several books including The Theory of Toiling Classes, Political Economic Studies, Fiscal Problems of Kerala-Causes and Remedial Measures and The People's Socialism