K M Mani leaves official residence, heads to hometown

Kerala Congress(M) chief K M Mani, who was forced to resign as Finance Minister following the bar bribery case, today left his official residence here, saying that he "will be back after the doubts are cleared".

82-year-old Mani left his official residence 'Prashanti' here for Pala, his home town in Kottayam district, this morning amidst the chanting of "Mani ki jai" by his followers.

Earlier speaking to reporters Mani said, "I am going with full satisfaction and peace. I am satisfied that I could do something for the poor of the state."

"When I look back to see what I could do for the poor during 50 years of public life, I am satisfied. God is with me. There is no need to fear when God is with you. The almighty has said I am leaving you for some time. You will be weak for a while. I will make you stronger," he said.

Mani, who was the senior most Minister in the Congress led UDF and longest serving member of Kerala assembly, said, "I am not very keen to make a comeback. But still I will be back after the doubts are cleared."

As a show of strength, party workers have arranged functions to greet him at 11 points including Kottarakara, Pandalam, Thiruvalla and Kottayam, en route to Pala.

At Pala, the constituency he represented in the assembly since 1965, he is expected to come out with a political explanation on the circumstances leading to his ignominious exit.

Mani has already made it clear that there was a conspiracy to oust him and that justice was denied to him.

Mani, against whom an FIR had been registered in the bar bribery case, had resigned on November 10 after pressure mounted on him from the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front to quit, a day after the High Court upheld further investigation in the case and made stinging observations against him.

Though he had put up a stiff fight to remain in power, Mani was forced to yield to pressure from Congress, the lead partner which stood firm stating that the resignation was inevitable.

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