Rahul reached Mani’s residence by 2pm amid tight security. He walked straight into Mani’s office room. A huge portrait of Mani was kept there with a candle lit in front of it. Rahul spent a few seconds in prayers before the portrait and picked up flowers kept in a tray in front of the portrait and offered floral tribute. He held the hands of Kuttiyamma, Mani’s wife and expressed his condolences.
The Congress president, accompanied by AICC general secretaries Mukul Wasnik and K C Venugopal and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, moved to the adjacent room where he was welcomed by Mani’s son and Rajya Sabha MP Jose K Mani with a shawl. As Rahul sat on a sofa between Kuttiyamma and Jose K Mani a teapoy was spread with snacks and tender coconut water. Rahul invited those who accompanied him to have the snacks while he had a samosa and a ‘vattayappam’.
Speaking to Jose K Mani and Kuttiyamma, Rahul said that Mani was a guide for Kerala. He said it was remarkable that a person continued as the MLA of a constituency for 54 continuous years. Jose K Mani also presented Rahul a copy of ‘Doctrine of Toiling Class’ penned by Mani. Apart from all the daughters of Mani, all KC (M) MLAs except P J Joseph, party state and district leaders, AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy and DCC president Joshy Philip were present.
Coming out by 2.15pm, Rahul told the reporters waiting there that Mani was a towering and senior leader with tremendous experience. “He was somebody I would listen to and appreciate. He was the voice of the people of Kerala. It is an honour for me to come here and pay my respects,” Rahul said.