- Science & Tech
Kerala Congress(M) supremo and former Finance Minister K.M Mani is all set to contest the May 16 polls for the record 13th time from the Pala constituency, where he had won in the last 12 assembly polls.
Mani, 83, one of the senior most politicians of Kerala, also holds the rare distinction of celebrating the golden jubilee of his long legislature career in the state Assembly.
A law graduate, Mani also holds the record of presenting the maximum number of budgets in the Kerala assembly.
However Mani, who never tasted defeat in his poll career and a strongman in UDF as supremo of KC(M), the third largest partner in the Front, faced an unprecedented political turmoil as Finance Minister last year and had to quit office following charges in the bar bribery scam in November 2015.
Mani, who has all along rejected the charges as baseless, is now back in the poll arena in Pala constituency, which has always stood by him in the last 50 years since its inception.
Located in Central Travancore, Pala has a sizable Roman Catholic population and is also a land of rubber farmers.
Despite criticisms and allegations by his rivals, the political veteran seems to have no doubt about his victory this time also, considering his long association with the people of the segment.
On the other hand, his main rival candidate, LDF-NCP’s Mani C Kappan, a noted film personality, is hopeful of creating history in the constituency by giving a drubbing to Mani.
It is also significant that LDF is fielding Kappan, who gave a tough fight to Mani in 2006 and 2011 elections, again in the segment to wrest the seat from KC(M) stronghold.