06 May, 2017
"Mani and his associates misguided us and I had resigned as the district panchayat president", Mr Philip said. The lone Communist Party of India (CPI) member chose to stay away. Chandy can not be blamed for not being able to reconcile with Mani's plans as the former Chief Minister had provided unstinted support to the latter during the bar bribe case.
The election was necessitated by the resignation of Congress member Joshy Philip from the President post following his appointment as DCC President.
However, a lot of backroom negotiations went on in the background, culminating in KM Mani skipping the Kerala Assembly for the past three days. However he termed the decision as a fall out of the insult received from the Congress. Following this, Mani assured that the party state committee would look into the issue.
"We no longer need K M Mani and Jose K Mani".
He said the decision was taken without his knowledge.
Another Congress leader K C Joseph wanted the CPI-M to make it clear if they still stood by the various allegations made against Mani.
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Despite the UDF Government facing severe flak, particularly from the LDF, then in the Opposition, from all quarters, Chandy protected Mani, the then state Finance Minister. And K Muralidharan stated that Jose K Mani can never hope to contest as the UDF candidate from Kottayam.
KC (M) capturing Kottayam district panchayat with support of CPI (M) had kicked up a political storm in the state. It was seen as a message to the PJ Joseph faction of the KC (M) to split the party. Human Rights activist Jaison Cooper in a post contrasted Pinarayi Vijayan's preposterous claim of U.S. administration trying to sabotage the LDF government in the state and the CPM leadership cozying up to Kerala Congress, allegedly claiming the legacy of "Liberation Struggle" that led to the ouster of the first communist government in the state. However, the KC (M) leadership violated that agreement, he said. After the bar-bribery scam broke out in 2014, the party has been having a tough time and it reflected in the performance of the party and the UDF in the 2016 elections.
On the backlash over the unexpected coalition Mani remarked, "Every political party has at some time or the other attacked us".
"The understanding reached with CPI (M) during the District Panchayat President polls". He tried to reason that the "communal BJP and the capitalist Congress" were equally their enemies and this was a one-off agreement.
The move strengthened speculation about KC (M) drifting close to LDF.
"The decision to align with the CPM was taken at the local level".