Nearly eight months after Kerala's former Finance Minister KM Mani and chief of Congress (M) faction left the United Democratic Front (UDF), the Congress in the state has indicated that it wants the leader back in the fold.
On Tuesday, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) interim president MM Hassan said that KM Mani had left UDF on his own account and that he can, at any time, return to UDF.
It was in August last year, that a miffed Mani severed ties with the UDF after three decades. This was months after Mani was forced to resign as the finance minister, following his alleged involvement in the Bar Bribery scam.
With the UDF getting a landslide victory in the recently-held Malappuram bye-poll, Hassan said that this was the right time for Mani to return to the UDF.
"The united UDF has always wanted KM Mani to come back. He had in fact supported PK Kunhalikutty in the Malappuram bye-polls, which we see as a positive sign," MM Hassan told reporters.
"Although Mani had extended support to IUML's PK Kunhalikutty, he has extended support to the united UDF by doing so. And this has immensely helped the UDF win the election. None of us asked Mani to leave and we want him to come back," MM Hassan added.
He also pointed out that the matter will be further discussed in the UDF meeting scheduled to be held on April 21.
However, KM Mani told reporters in Kottayam that he would not immediately return to the UDF.
"Neither do we have issues with anyone, nor do we favour anyone beyond a certain level. We always stand with the truth. When an issue crops up, we asses the right and wrongs of the situation and make it a point to stand with the truth. That's our stand," Mani said.