Former Kerala CM and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy passes away in Bengaluru, condolences pour in

Oommen Chandy, 79, who was twice chief minister of Kerala, was undergoing treatment for cancer at a Bengaluru hospital since February.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 18, 2023 | 7:44 AM Updated Jul 18, 2023 | 10:56 AM

Oommen Chandy health

Former Kerala chief minister and veteran leader of Congress Oommen Chandy passed away in Bengaluru in the wee hours of Tuesday, 18 July.

The 79-year-old leader was under treatment for cancer at a hospital in Bengaluru since February his year after he was airlifted from Kerala.

Chandy’s family as well as senior leaders of Kerala Congress confirmed the unfortunate news of his death via social media posts.

Condolences have been pouring in for the senior leader who was last seen in public when he participated in the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi in Kerala on 18 September, 2022.

Several leaders of the Congress recalled their time with Chandy as they expressed their grief over his passing away.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the passing away of veteran Congress leader, and said: “we have lost a humble and dedicated leader who devoted his life to public service and worked towards the progress of Kerala”.

In a tweet, Modi said, “I recall my various interactions with him, particularly when we both served as Chief Ministers of our respective states and later when I moved to Delhi. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this sorrowful hour. May his soul rest in peace”.

Chandy’s death comes on the day of the second meeting of Opposition parties in Bengaluru.

Leaders of 26 Opposition parties, including Congress’ seniors like Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, are in Bengaluru for the meeting that is aimed at forging afront to take on BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Chandy, who represented the Puthuppally constituency in the Kerala Assembly since 1970, was chief minister of the southern state twice — once from 2004 to 2006, and then again from 2011 to 2016.

The Kerala government has announced Tuesday as a public holiday and two-day mourning as a mark of respect for the former chief minister.