Top UDF leaders tried to ensnare Mani

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 14:04:15 

As the controversy set off by Jose K. Mani over the alleged back-stabbing of his father and Kerala Congress (M) founder leader K.M. Mani by the Congress continued to rage, a report accusing some United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders of hatching a conspiracy to ensnare the KC(M) patriarch in the bar bribery scam has now emerged in the public domain.

The report, purportedly based on an investigation carried out by a private agency, named Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Adoor Prakash and Joseph Vazhakkan as the key conspirators. Kerala Congress (B) leader R. Balakrishna Pillai and Kerala Janapaksham leader P.C. George, MLA, too were accused of being part of the conspiracy, which was reportedly hatched at a Government Guest House at Mundakkayam, Kottayam.

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy too has been accused of being aware of the conspiracy.

According to it, a conspiracy was allegedly hatched to frame the late KC(M) leader as he had stood in the way of Mr. Chennithala's attempt to replace Mr. Chandy as the Chief Minister.

About six years ago, the KC(M) had appointed an intra-party commission led by the late C.F. Thomas to probe the alleged conspiracy. The findings of the commission, which was submitted in March 2016, are yet to be made public.

The Mani group, meanwhile, responded that the report that came out on Sunday was not the official investigation report in possession of the party leadership. We have not yet decided on releasing the investigation report officially. In fact, this is not the first time that the media are reporting about such an investigation report, which does not have anything to do with the official report, Mr. Mani said.

Official sources, however, held that some findings of the `leaked report' were close to the ones reported by the intra-party commission.

Meanwhile, the Mani group, which has been shaken by attrition of workers at the grassroots received a major boost with the former Poonjar MLA V.J. Joseph, former Meenachil panchayat president C.V. John and others joining its ranks here on Sunday. They were handed party membership at a function organised by the Mani group in Pala.

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