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  Opinion   Edit  20 Jul 2023  AA Edit | A CM with simplicity, grace

AA Edit | A CM with simplicity, grace

Published : Jul 21, 2023, 12:43 am IST
Updated : Jul 21, 2023, 12:43 am IST

Mr Chandy, 79 years old, served as CM of Kerala twice, and passed away after battling an ailment for a while.

Oomen Chandy. (Photo: PTI)
 Oomen Chandy. (Photo: PTI)

As soon as the son of former chief minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy posted the news of his passing away at a health facility in Bengaluru on the social media, a huge number of people in Kerala, and Congress and other party leaders across India, expressed their grief and condolences. Mr Chandy, 79 years old, served as CM of Kerala twice, and passed away after battling an ailment for a while.

The leader’s death was mourned by people seemingly across party lines, and in an unprecedented happening, when the LDF government immediately announced that the funeral would be accorded state honours, the family gracefully declined it.

Ms Mariyamma, wife of the departed leader, wrote to the government that the family would only be having religious ceremonies and declined any official honour that it had been keen to arrange.

Even the announcement of his passing away the family kept extremely simple, with little or no sense of being ostentatious, eschewing any overstatement. “Appa has passed away”, wrote his son. His daughter reportedly said, “this is the real honour”, referring to the long queue of people who had come to see his mortal remains and pay their respects, indicating a preference over state honours.

The state government of Kerala has, however, in a good spirit of non-partisanship, nonetheless declared two days of public holiday and mourning as a mark of respect.

During his political career spanning nearly 60 years, Chandy served as chief minister twice, once between 2004 and 2006, and once, from 2011 to 2016, besides serving as a minister in various departments. He worked in both the K. Karunakaran and A.K. Antony Cabinets, besides a stint as the Leader of Opposition in the state legislative Assembly.

An old-fashioned leader who believed in being dedicated to his constituency, Chandy represented Puthuppally for a record 18,728 days or over 50 years. His political journey had begun at a young age of 27, as a youth leader in 1970, when he won for the first time. When he quit, he had been in the House 11 times.

Tags: aa edit, ldf government, oomen chandy