Kerala Govt Declares Holiday For Schools, Colleges Today As Former CM Oommen Chandy Passes Away
Oommen Chandy, a seasoned Congressman and former chief minister of Kerala, passed away in the early hours of this morning. The 79-year-old Chandy had been undergoing cancer treatment at a hospital in Bengaluru for several months and breathed his last at approximately 4:25 AM. Chandy Oommen, the son of the former Kerala chief minister, confirmed his father's demise through a heartfelt Facebook post that simply stated, "Appa has passed away."
In honor of the late chief minister, the Kerala government has declared Tuesday, July 18, as a public holiday for all educational institutions in the state. Additionally, the state has announced two days of official mourning. As reported by local news outlets, all state government offices and educational institutions, including professional colleges, will remain closed on Tuesday. It's important to note that Mahatma Gandhi University has also announced a holiday and canceled all examinations originally scheduled for July 18.
Oommen Chandy, the longest-serving MLA in the Kerala Legislative Assembly, served as chief minister of the state for two terms. He represented the Puthuppally constituency from 1970 until 2021, serving as an MLA for an impressive 53 years. Known for his strong rapport with leaders from across the political spectrum, Chandy was regarded as a leader of the masses and a staunch advocate of development projects such as the Kochi Metro, Vallarpadom International Container Transhipment Terminal, and the Vizhinjam International Seaport project.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described Oommen Chandy's passing as the end of an era in Kerala politics, offering his condolences. Veteran politician and former defense minister AK Antony expressed personal sorrow and acknowledged the loss felt by the people of the state. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge paid tribute to Chandy on Twitter, highlighting his unwavering dedication and visionary leadership, which had a lasting impact on Kerala's progress and the nation's political landscape.
The funeral of Oommen Chandy will be held in Puthupally, his hometown. He is survived by his wife Mariyamma and their three children: Mariyam Oommen, Achu Oommen, and Chandy Oommen.