Kerala's political landscape was marked with a sombre note as it lost one of its stalwart leaders, Oommen Chandy. Known for his simplicity and deep-rooted connection with the people, Chandy passed away at the age of 79. He was a veteran Congress leader, a two-time Chief Minister, and an MLA since 1970. His death signifies the end of an era in Kerala's political history.
Remembering Oommen Chandy: 10 Facts
Famous Personalities • 18 Jul, 2023 • 1,104 Views
By: Anand Swami
Chandy's journey, from student politics to serving as Kerala's Chief Minister, was paved with dedication and commitment. His leadership, humility, and ever-present accessibility to the public made him a cherished leader. We delve into the journey of this iconic figure and his indelible contributions to Kerala.
Inception into Politics
Born in Puthupally in 1943, Chandy's political journey began in the 1960s with the Kerala Students' Union, the student wing of Congress. He pursued a BA in Economics and subsequently an LLB degree, making his first significant stride into public life.
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Unprecedented Electoral Victory
Chandy was first elected as an MLA from Puthuppally in 1970. His unwavering commitment to his constituents ensured he remained undefeated for over five decades, making him one of the longest-serving MLAs in India.
Rising through the Ranks
Chandy's political journey was marked by various leadership roles. He served as Kerala's labour minister (1977-78), home minister (1981-82), and finance minister (1991-94). Despite the factional politics within Congress in Kerala, Chandy remained a loyal supporter of AK Antony.
Chief Ministerial Tenure
After leading the Congress-led UDF to victory in 2011, Chandy served as the Chief Minister for a full five-year term. His tenure saw the implementation of key welfare schemes and infrastructural projects that benefited the people of Kerala.
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Transition to National Politics
In 2018, Chandy's political journey took him to the national stage. He served as the Congress' general secretary for Andhra Pradesh, marking his significant influence in national politics.
Legacy of Simplicity and Humility
Chandy was known for leading a simple life, often travelling by public transport even as Chief Minister. His humility endeared him to the people of Kerala, making him a leader who was respected even by his political adversaries.
Personal Life and Legacy
Chandy is survived by his wife Mariamma, two daughters, and a son. His son, Chandy Oommen, is a Youth Congress leader known for his active participation in initiatives like the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
The People's Chief Minister
Chandy was more than a leader; he was a friend and guide to the people of Kerala. His easy accessibility and willingness to interact with people from all walks of life earned him the title of "People's CM."
Chandy's Challenges and Triumphs
Like any political figure, Chandy too faced hurdles. He was embroiled in what was known as the Solar Scam but was later acquitted. Despite these controversies, his public reputation remained untarnished, a testament to his strong moral character.
Farewell to a Veteran
Chandy's passing has left a void in the political canvas of Kerala. Leaders across the political spectrum expressed their grief at his demise, reflecting the wide respect he commanded. His leadership and humanity will be remembered for years to come.
Chandy's life is a testament to the power of humility, dedication, and public service. His leadership style and achievements continue to inspire many, marking him as a leader whose legacy will continue to guide the future of Kerala's political landscape.
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