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Powerful former CM of Kerala, Congress Oommen Chandy passes

IndiaPowerful former CM of Kerala, Congress Oommen Chandy passes

Oommen Chandy, the soft-spoken Congress Neta who held a strong Congress base in Kerala for decades passes at 79 after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Oommen Chandy had been undergoing treatment for cancer in Bengaluru.  Chandy, from the Indian National Congress, was the 10th Chief Minister of Kerala from 2004 to 2006 and again from 2011 to 2016. He was also Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 2006 to 2011.

In honor of the departed leader, the Kerala government has announced a three-day state mourning and declared Tuesday as a public holiday. Chief Secretary Dr. V Venu conveyed the message that all state government offices, educational institutions, including professional colleges and public sector undertakings, would remain closed on Tuesday, along with other institutions falling under the purview of the Negotiable Instruments Act

Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have arrived to pay their last respects to the late former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy at a hospital in Bengaluru, where he passed away earlier today. The Press Trust of India tweeted a video showing their arrival. AK Antony, another Congress leader, expressed his condolences, stating that Oommen Chandy’s untimely demise is a significant loss for the people of Kerala, the Congress party, and the United Democratic Front (UDF).

“Chandi ji represented the spirit of Kerala and the spirit of India. We all love him very much and we will remember him fondly”, said Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi.

Chief minister paying last respects to the former chief minister of Kerala

Oommen Chandy, aged 80, is survived by his wife Mariamma Ummen, daughters Achu Oommen and Maria Oommen, and son Chandy Oommen. Chandy Oommen confirmed his father’s passing in a Facebook post, stating, “Appa has passed away.”

The veteran leader had been undergoing medical treatment in Bengaluru for several months and breathed his last at 4:25 AM on Tuesday. Having served as a two-time Chief Minister of the Congress party, Oommen Chandy completed 50 years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). He was widely recognized as the face of the Congress party in Kerala and represented his hometown Puthupally in the Kottayam district continuously since 1970.

Throughout his political career, which spanned over half a century, Chandy held various significant roles, including being a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and serving as the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Incharge of Andhra Pradesh.

Chandy, known for his administrative skills and political acumen, handled a diverse range of responsibilities throughout his career, which had its fair share of highs and lows. He started his political journey as the unit president of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) at St George High School, Puthupally, and went on to become the state President of the organization from 1967 to 1969. He was elected as the president of the State Youth Congress in 1970. Chandy pursued his education at CMS College, Kottayam, for his pre-university course, St Berchmans College, Changanassery, for a BA in Economics, and Government Law College, Ernakulam, for a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB).

Chandy held various ministerial positions, including Minister for Labour in 1977 and Home Minister in 1981, and served as the Chief Minister of Kerala from August 2004 to May 2006. He also led the Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF) to victories in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the 2010 local body polls, marking a significant achievement in Kerala’s political history.

In the 2011 assembly elections, the UDF secured a narrow majority, and Chandy became the Chief Minister for the second time. He continued to serve as a legislator, winning the Assembly poll from Puthupally in 2021, marking his 12th consecutive victory from that constituency.

He used to address the grievances of the needy through his mass contact programme ‘Janasamparka Paripadi’ and left a great impact on Kerala.

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