When MM Mani, senior CPM leader from Idukki, was appointed the Power Minister in November last year, it came as a surprise to many. Known as loose cannon, he had caused big embarrassment to the party and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) through his distasteful comments.

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Mani, popularly known as Maniyasan, made headlines in 2012 and faced murder charges by bragging in a party rally that his party had physically eliminated political rivals in the past by making a list of the victims. The CPM would continue to do the same, he had stated.

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In the infamous '1,2,3 statement,' he further explained how the party did it. "We made a list of 13 people who worked against the party and made it public. One, two, three... We killed the first three of them. One was killed by the bullet; another one stabbed. The third one was beaten to death," he said, igniting a big controversy in the state, following which Mani was removed as the district secretary of the CPM.

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Despite controversies, Mani remained hugely popular among the workers in Idukki and Munnar in particular because he emerged from among them as a teenage worker in the tea gardens and people relate to him as a leader of the masses.

Even after he assumed office as power minister, his loose tongue continued to trouble his party and the government.

In his attempt to garner support for the controversial Athirappilly hydro electric project Mani went to the extent that felling forests are not a big issue. His statement was widely criticised and prompted the CPI, an LDF partner, to take a tougher stand against the project.

Related: Kerala Power Minister rakes up controversial Athirappally project

During Malappuram by-election campaign, Mani made an insulting comment on Prime Minister Modi. Mani said that PM Modi deserted his wife because he had a grave biological problem. 

Related: Modi deserted wife because of his grave biological problem: Kerala minister

 When the police action on Jishnu Pranoy's parents provoked widespread condemnation, Mani came up supporting the Chief Minister. He defended Pinarayi Vijayan for not paying a visit to the family and made a lewd reference, which triggered an outrage

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On Saturday, Mani criticised the revenue officials for leading a crackdown on illegal encroachments in Munnar and surrounding areas. He threatened officials and said the Devikulam Subcollector Sriram Venkitaraman should be sent to Oolampara, a mental hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. In the same speech he made derogatory references on Pombilai Orumai, the women's collective of tea garden workers

Related: Minister Mani's statement lands Pinarayi Vijayan govt. in soup

Just before assuming office as minister, Mani insulted the ministers of CPI and called them stupid.  The stupid ministers have brought shame on Pinarayi Vijayan govt., he said. His statement strained the relations between CPM and CPI. 

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