In his illustrious political career, Mani broke too many records

In his illustrious political career, Mani broke too many records

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala politician K M Mani holds a slew of records, including representing a constituency for a long time, since its inception.

Mani represented Pala constituency for 52 years as a legislator till his demise.

Mani was elected from the Pala assembly segment soon after it was formed in 1965. He could not be sworn in to the assembly that year because no party had a majority to form a government.

He was elected again from Pala in 1967 a feat he repeated in the next 11 assembly elections, an unchallenged record.

Mani is the only legislator in Kerala to complete 50 years as an elected representative.

His closest rival for the record is former chief minister Oommen Chandy, who has represented the Puthuppally assembly seat since 1970.

At the national level, CPI's Indrajit Gupta had been a Lok Sabha member for 41 years and CPM's Somnath Chatterjee for 38 years.

Speaking in the assembly to felicitate Mani on his golden jubilee, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan likened the Kerala Congress chairman to US politician Fred Risser, who has never lost an election to the Wisconsin Senate since 1962.

In his illustrious political career, Mani broke too many records
K M Mani with Pinarayi Vijayan.

When Mani entered the house first, E M S Namboodiripad was in the chief minister's chair, with the support of 117 members. The opposition group comprised nine Congress MLAs led by K Karunakaran and five Kerala Congress MLAs led by K M George.

Mani's first speech was on March 20, 1967. His first question was about a slide in rubber prices.

He broke K R Gowri's record as the longest-serving legislator on March 12, 2014.

He is also the longest-serving minister and one who was a part of the most Council of Ministers in Kerala.

He has presented 13 budgets as finance minister, a feat excelled only by Girdhari Lal Dogra of Jammu & Kashmir, the late father-in-law of Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.

In his illustrious political career, Mani broke too many records
K M Mani presenting Kerala Budget. File photo

He is the longest-serving finance minister (11 years, 8 months) and law minister (21 years, 2 months).

Mani first became a minister in 1977. He was entrusted with law and finance. His first budget presentation was in 1976-77.

His budget in 1986-87 created quite a furore. Mani claimed it was a surplus budget but Union minister of state for finance Janardhana Poojari said in Parliament that Kerala's year-end accounts were in deficit. Then chief minister Karunakaran famously said that the budget could be either surplus or deficit.

Mani introduced the finance bill system in Kerala for simultaneous implementation of budget proposals.

He had also made extensive use of the reference system of the assembly.

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