It was a unique farewell in the recent history of Kerala.
K.M. Mani is known as the “Gem of Pala” He always touched the heart of people in his constituency despite of their political affiliation. Mani got thumping majority each time, continuously. No politician in the state could reach such a milestone. He was elected 13 times in the same constituency (Pala) in Kottayam district. Popularly known as Mani Sir, he served Pala constituency for 52 years.His bond to his electorate and the constituency is unheard in other places.He was elected from the constituency ever since its formation in 1965.
There is saying that,”When Pala catches a cold,Mani sneezes”
His development agenda was visible in every nook and corner of Pala constituency.Designing and maintenance of road and other infrastructure facilities of his constituency ,monitoring of educational institutions,priority wise implementation of people friendly projects,easy access to public’s queries, helping hand of poor and needy people,loving friend caring family leader ,humorous colleague and role model for many of his political counterparts…Mani dedicated his life to his people.He was a popular minister who served most of his ministerial times as finance minister.
As a visionary administrator, he introduced pension scheme for farmers,Karunya Benevolent Fund for supporting poor people in their medical treatment. The fund was mobilised through Karunya lottery.
During his tenure as FM, he always took bold steps to consider the welfare of ordinary citizen. He gave thrust to farmers’ issues.He never made complex rules and regulations in finance sector.His budget speeches ware remarkable and applicable to contemporary environment.
Nobody could ever put him down even at the time of political crisis.His last budget was a fine example for his unbroken willingness to fulfil his mission.He never compromised to put hold his budget amid a huge uproar from opposition parties.Later,he commented that 13 was his lucky number.
Born in a lower-middle class family in Marangattupally in Kottayam on 30 January in 1933,Mani rose to the status of a political colossus from the grass-root level.He joined Congress party and held its Kottayam district secretary post.
However,he had to break the knot with the Congress party when he was denied nomination in Pala constituency.He fought the election under Kerala Congress banner,a movement on the growing stage,then.
Since Mani was elected ,he became a prominent leader in Kerala Congress.He could maintain warm relationship with political opponents also.His jokes and laughter persuaded even his political rivals towards him.
The political movement had many splits and mergers in several times,Mani stood as the driving force of the political movement,a decisive factor in Southern Kerala’s political scenario
When he breathed his last on 9 April at a private hospital in Kochi,his beloved people started mourning.Their grief never stopped.His supporters,party activists and well-wishers shed tears and spent their time until his cremation held on Thursday.
Still.they pray for the soul of their beloved leader.