Oommen Chandy, the former Chief Minister of Kerala, passed away at the age of 79. He was a well-respected public figure and a prominent legislator, representing the Puthupally constituency in Kottayam district. Chandy held the office of Chief Minister twice during his political career.
Born on October 30, 1943, to Karottu Vallakalil K.V. Chandy and Baby Chandy, he entered politics through active participation in the Kerala Students Union (KSU) and the Youth Congress. His journey in politics saw him serving as the State general secretary of KSU in 1965 and later as its State in 1967. Chandy received his education at St. George High School in Kottayam and went on to study at CMS College, Kottayam, SB College Changanassery, and the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram.
Long Political Career of Oommen Chandy
- Oommen Chandy led the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) governments in Kerala on two occasions: from August 31, 2004, to May 12, 2006, and from May 18, 2011, to May 20, 2016.
- Throughout his extensive political career, he held various important positions, including serving as Labour Minister in 1977 in the K. Karunakaran Ministry and retaining the same portfolio in the succeeding cabinet led by A.K. Antony. He also served as the Home Minister in the K. Karunakaran cabinet from December 1981 to March 1982 and held the Finance portfolio in the UDF ministry of 1991.
- Chandy’s political journey began as the president of the Youth Congress in 1970, and he was actively involved in the INTUC, the Congress-backed trade union. He was first elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1970. Notably, he also served as the convener of the UDF during two periods: 1982-86 and 2001-2004. Chandy assumed the position of Chief Minister in 2004 after A.K. Antony’s resignation and held the office for a second time in 2011. During 2006-2011, he served as the Opposition Leader.
- Representing the Puthupally constituency for more than five decades, Chandy was a skilled politician who played a significant role in the internal ‘group’ dynamics within the state unit of the Congress. He enjoyed immense popularity among the masses and introduced the ‘Mass Contact’ program to address public issues during his tenure as Chief Minister. Additionally, he was presently serving as the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).