Pala bypass named after K.M. Mani

Road is regarded as a dream project of KC(M) patriarch

In a significant decision, the Left Democratic Front government has decided to name the Pala bypass road after K.M. Mani, founder of the Kerala Congress (M) [KC(M)] who represented the Assembly segment for 13 terms from 1964 until his death in 2019.

The road, which passes in front of the residence of Mani here, is regarded as a dream project of the KC(M) patriarch. The 4-km long and 15-m wide bypass road connects Puliyannoor junction along the Ettumanur-Poonjar State Highway with Kizhathadiyoor Junction on the Punalur-Muvattupuzha State Highway (Pala-Thodupuzha segment).

The project was designed when Mani was the Finance Minister in the United Democratic Front government. He parted with his land to enable the implementation of the project. The project that commenced in 2014 was commissioned in 2018.

The bypass was developed by widening a narrow stretch between the Puliyannoor junction and the Civil Station junction and also constructing an extension to the road.

For firmer ties

The naming of the road after the late leader, according to observers, also signals the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front’s plans to firm up its association with the regional party and maintain the upper hand it presently claims in the Christian heartland.

“The aspirations of the LDF are evident — to cash in on the legacy of a leader it had long set itself against and help the Kerala Congress (M) recapture Pala, its citadel. The unveiling of the KC(M) supremo’s statue at Pala was the first step in this direction,” he observed.

Mani’s legacy

The brand of politics founded by Mani is so noteworthy that the Kerala Congress led by P.J. Joseph, the foremost adversary of the KC(M) in the region now, too holds a claim over it.

The move, meanwhile, is also expected to give traction to the efforts by the KC(M) to affirm its presence and recapture the Pala seat, which for long served as its citadel.

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