Former Kerala Chief Minister and Renowned Congress Leader, Oommen Chandy, Dies at 79

Congress Stalwart and Ex-Kerala Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, Dies at 79

Oommen Chandy, a veteran of the Congress party and former chief minister of Kerala, has passed away at the age of 79. The news was confirmed by both his family and the president of Kerala Congress, K Sudhakaran, on Tuesday.

Sudhakaran took to Twitter to pay his respects, describing Chandy as a king who ruled with love and deeply touched the lives of many individuals. His legacy, Sudhakaran noted, would continue to resonate profoundly.

Chandy, a two-time chief minister of Kerala, died early Tuesday in Bengaluru, where he had been receiving medical treatment due to prolonged illness, according to his family. His son, Chandy Oommen, announced his father’s demise in a brief Facebook post, stating simply, “Appa has passed away.”

The Kerala Congress tweeted its grief over the loss of their beloved leader, citing Chandy’s popularity and dynamism. They recognized his far-reaching appeal across different generations and societal sections, while also acknowledging the significant gap his absence will leave in their leadership.

Kerala’s current Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed his sorrow at the loss, recounting his long-term political association with Chandy. He praised Chandy as a skilled administrator who was deeply involved in the people’s lives.

Chandy had a distinguished political career, having served as Kerala’s chief minister twice, from 2004 to 2006 and then from 2011 to 2016. He entered the legislative arena at the young age of 27 by winning the state assembly elections in 1970. Since then, he had an impressive streak of victories, winning eleven consecutive polls.

Chandy only ever represented his home constituency of Puthuppally over his five-decade political career. In 2022, he broke records by becoming the longest-serving member of the state assembly, representing Puthupally for a total of 18,728 days. This tenure surpassed the record held by former Kerala Congress (M) leader, the late KM Mani.

Throughout his career, Chandy served four times as minister in various cabinets and also held the position of Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly four times.

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