Congress veteran and former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has died in Bengaluru after a prolonged illness.
The news was shared by his son, Congress leader Chandy Oommen on Facebook at 4.30 am on Tuesday: “Appa has passed away.”
As a mark of respect, the Kerala government has declared a public holiday on Tuesday. Also, a two-day mourning will be observed in the state.
Chandy was the longest-serving member of the Kerala Assembly by representing his home constituency Puthupally, in the House for 18,728 days.
He was elected to the Kerala Assembly at the age of 27 and went on to win 11 polls back-to-back. He also served as the Chief Minister of Kerala for two terms — 2004-06 and 2011-16.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled Chandy’s death: “We were elected to the Legislative Assembly in the same year. It was at the same stage that we came to the political fore through student life. We led public life at the same time and it is extremely difficult to bid him farewell. Oommen Chandy was a capable administrator and a person who was closely involved in people’s lives,” he told ANI.
The Congress leader’s body will be brought to Thiruvananthapuram by a special aircraft, taken to the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee office in the state capital and then to the Durbar Hall in the Secretariat for the public to pay their last respects.
(Picture Courtesy: INC Kerala)