Madhyamam had published an editorial on October 30 titled ‘Raji vaykilla ennariyaam; ennalum’ in the wake of the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court verdict ordering further probe into the controversial Bar Bribe scam involving Finance Minister K M Mani.
The court had dismissed the Vigilance report that gave a clean chit to the Minister. The editorial specified that it was pointless to expect the Mani to act ethically and step down from his post after the verdict. The High Court on November 9 dismissed the government’s plea seeking to quash the Vigilance Court order of further probe. Strong statements including observations like Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion came during the court order. With the High Court verdict, Mani’s resignation had become inevitable, pressure to step down mounting on the Minister. Even though he had planned all the tactics to avoid resignation, he was unable to resist the vigilance of the media, social pressure and the setback from within the party finally resigning from his post on Tuesday. Mani, in his resignation letter said that he respected the law and hence the resignation. But the people do not live in the fool’s paradise so as to believe his statements. The Chief Minister in the press conference after Mani’s resignation said that neither the Congress nor the UDF had sought Mani’s resignation and that the Minister had resigned on his own. Both the CM and the Finance Minister had been merely fooling the people. If Mani had been truthful he would have resigned long back. A disgraced Mani, who hold the record for the country’s longest serving legislator stepped down unable to withstand the immense pressure put on him by the local channels and the society. The decision was an essential reality that was bound to happen. But it was made even worse by him as well as the Chief Minister who tugged it all along the way. They are sure to endure the consequences in the next elections. Mani’s fall is a perfect epitome of the fact that the corrupt cannot hold on for long in a society with extremely vigilant people as well as media.
The Bar Bribe scam is not the lone corruption case involving Mani. Even the LDF turned against Mani as they were left with no choice. When the Palakkad Plenum was held to get rid of the stains in the party, LDF had roped in Mani as the chief guest. The CPM had also planned to topple the governance by making him the Chief Minister. It would also be no surprise if the same Mani later emerges as the leader of the LDF. R Balakrishna Pillai who was imprisoned in the corruption case following V S Achuthanandhan’s appeal in the Supreme Court is presently with the Left Front. The BJP government had appointed Mani as the Chairman of appointed chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers on Goods & Services Tax (GST) after allegations of corruption were raised against him. Union Minister and BJP leader Arun Jaitley had launched a book on Mani in Kochi a month ago. Politics in the state today is the sum of shamelessness and the whole drama related to Mani is the latest example for it. We have no choice but to bear it until alternative politics that could wipe out such embarrassments arise.