Former finance minister and the Kerala Congress supremo K M Mani passed away at a private hospital in Ernakulam on Tuesday.
He was 86.
Mani was suffering from a respiratory infection and was under treatment for the last few days.
Karingozhakkal Mani Mani, who was active in the Kerala politics for the last five decades represented Pala constituency for 13 consecutive terms.
As the longest-serving finance minister, Mani has presented 13 state budgets.
He was born on January 30, 1933, to Thomman Mani and Eliamma at Marangattupilli in Meenachil of Kottayam district. A law graduate from the Madras college, Mani became active in the Congress party a decade after the Independence. He became a KPCC member two years later.
After the demise of prominent Congress leader P T Chacko, 15 MLAs quit the party under the leadership of K M George to form Kerala Congress in 1964. Mani, as a KC leader, contested from Pala Assembly constituency in 1965. He would later become a minister in 1975.
After an infight with P J Joseph for the party chairmanship, Mani split the party 1978. It was the second split after the formation of the party, being veteran politician R Balakrishna Pillai’s the first one.
Mani became the home minister in the P K Vasudevan Nair ministry. In 1979, the Kerala Congress (Mani) was formed. He would later join the Left parties’ alliance in 1980.
After coming back to the UDF in 1982, he handled finance, law, electricity, water resources and revenue ministries under several chief ministers.
Joseph and Mani would later join hands and fight each other many times. P C Thomas, who is currently with NDA, split the party and formed Kerala Congress (P C Thomas).
Mani grew as one of the tallest leaders in the state and his party remained as the third largest party in UDF.
His wish to become the chief minister of the state, however, left unfulfilled.
A bar contractor, in 2015, alleged that Mani accepted rupees one crore as bribe to reopen the bars in the state. Following the controversy, he resigned as the minister.
Even during his last days, he had a fight with party vice chairman Joseph over the Kottayam Lok Sabha seat.