A book on the veteran politician K.M. Mani will be released soon to mark the golden jubilee of his innings in the Assembly.
To represent an Assembly constituency for five decades running, to set a record of sorts by presenting 12 State budgets and to remain a ‘permanent Chief Minister-designate’ in the choppy Kerala political waters are no ordinary feats. But there is one political leader in Kerala on whom all these achievements seem to sit lightly: Kerala Congress(M) leader and Finance Minister K.M. Mani.
Even as late as two months ago, rumour mills were working overtime discussing the possibility of Mr. Mani taking up the top job with CPI(M) support in the event of Oommen Chandy yielding to pressure from diverse quarters. Mr. Mani is all set to celebrate the golden jubilee of his first entry into the portals of the State legislature. An authorized biography of the veteran titled K.M. Mani – A Study in Regionalism will be brought out to mark the occasion.
It was the late C.H. Mohamed Koya, who first described him ‘Permanent Chief Minister-designate.’ Does it leave him despondent, this experience of seeing everyone discuss the possibility of his being numero uno, but never becoming that, asks veteran journalist K. Govindan Kutty, the author of the book. Pat comes the answer with his trademark throaty laughter: “I am bigger than my office.”
The book has been brought out by Thiruvananthapuram-based imprint Folio. Mr. Kuttysays that while Mr. Mani’s several budgets, his attempts to fashion regionalism of a certain kind as an effective political weapon and his famous description of Kerala Congress as the party that proliferates as its splits were remarkable, he would be remembered more for having launched the Karunya scheme that provides aid to indigent persons with critical medical condition.