If the Thodupuzha Additional Sessions Court’s refusal to discharge Electricity Minister M.M. Mani from the Anchery Baby murder case has caused the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan any embarrassment they have none to blame but themselves. They were aware of the pending case when they picked Mani to contest the Assembly election and fill the vacancy in the Cabinet caused by E.P. Jayarajan’s exit.
It is difficult to believe that the party and the Chief Minister did not take into account the possibility, howsoever remote, of an adverse court verdict. They presumably reckoned they can ride the storm, raising the familiar argument that the case is politically motivated.
The demand of the Congress leaders that Mr. Mani resign on moral grounds comes a little too late. The Opposition knew about the case and yet raised no serious objections when Mr. Mani was inducted into the Cabinet last month. The Court ruling has made no material difference to Mr. Mani’s status. He was a murder case accused when he was appointed minister and he continues to be one