Thiruvananthapuram, May 3 (IANS) Jose K. Mani is referred to as the politician born with a silver spoon in Kerala politics as he has always reached levels in political fabric of the state only because of being the son of Kerala Congress legend K.M. Mani.
But he suffered the worst electoral reversal on Sunday when he lost to Mani C. Kappen at the Pala assembly constituency which was the citadel of Mani from 1967 till he died and never lost an election from Pala.
Incidentally Mani C. Kappen of the NCP, then with the ruling Left Democratic Front won the 2019 Pala by-election when he defeated the handpicked candidate of Jose and it came as a big shock.
And the real shocker came on Sunday when Jose himself lost to Kappen, who just before the elections moved over to the Congress led UDF, after he was refused the seat by the CPI-M who gave the seat to Jose, whose party became an ally of the Left.
The 56-year-old Jose, an MBA degree holder, quit his job in a banking and financial institution to contest the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from the Muvattupuzha Lok Sabha constituency, only to finish third, much to the dismay of his father Mani.
He then had to wait till 2009, when he won the Kottayam Lok Sabha seat, which he retained in 2014 also.
After the 2016 assembly elections, fissures began in the relation with Mani and the Congress party, forcing him to leave the UDF and with the Lok Sabha polls closing in, the Congress patched up with Mani and offered him on a platter a Rajya Sabha seat.
Grabbing the seat that was offered, Jose, who had more than a year left in the Lok Sabha, quit as a member to the lower house and entered the Rajya Sabha in 2018.
However things turned for the worse for Jose, when Mani passed away a month before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Differences broke out in Kerala Congress (Mani) with party veteran P.J. Joseph and Jose taking cudgels forcing the UDF to show the exit door to Jose.
Waiting in the wings was the CPI-M led Left, who all along in the past many decades described Mani as the most corrupt politician, however gave Jose a red carpet welcome and was made a full fledged ally of the Left and gave him 12 seats to contest.
Airing his sadness, Jose said the defeat was because of the underhand deals that the UDF camp had resorted in the elections with certain forces.
"It was Jose who tried to buy votes by wooing the lower class people and not me and despite he doing that, it did not help, because voters cannot be purchased," said Kappen.
Of the 12 seats that Jose's party contested, five of them won the elections and it remains to be seen how many cabinet berths his party will get.
And it also remains to be seen, if the Rajya Sabha seat that he resigned early this year will be given back to him by Vijayan or not.
All in all, Jose defeat will go down as the biggest shocker in the 2021 Kerala Assembly polls.