Bruised KM Mani gets an olive branch from Kerala BJP

  • Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2015 00:22 IST
Former Kerala finance minister KM Mani. (HT File Photo)

Beleaguered KM Mani, who quit the Oommen Chandy government last week over the bar bribery scam, got support from unexpected quarters on Monday: the BJP.

State president V Muraleedharan said his party would not mind an alliance with Kerala Congress (Mani), adding if a person was embroiled in a corruption case, the whole party could not be called corrupt.

“If it is willing, we can have an understanding in Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts to rule some municipal bodies,” he said in Kozhikkode in north Kerala.

He added his party was ready to forge an alliance with anyone other than the Congress, CPI(M) and Muslim League.

Interestingly, the saffron party was at the forefront of the agitation against Mani and many workers were injured when the police resorted to force. “It shows the party can stoop so low for some electoral gains. It is ready to align with anyone to open its account in the state,” said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, criticising what he called an ‘alliance of convenience.’

The party is equally shocked over the U-turn. “Even his camp followers are wary of Mani. How can you extend a hand of friendship to him now?” asked a senior leader of the BJP.

As the debate rages, Kerala Congress (Mani) has made it clear that it has no intention to side with the BJP.

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