Congress top leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paid homage to former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who died at a private hospital here on Tuesday after a prolonged illness.
Other Congress leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, among others, also paid last tributes to Chandy.
Chandy breathed his last in the city in the early hours of Tuesday. This was confirmed by the son of the two-time former chief minister of Kerala in a Facebook post. “Appa has passed away”, Oommen wrote on his Facebook page, without elaborating.
Chandy, aged 79, was staying in Bengaluru for treatment as he was unwell for quite some time. The departed Congress leader served as minister in K Karunakaran and AK Antony ministries.
He served as Labour, Home, and Finance Minister. He also served as the Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Assembly Speaker A N Shamseer, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan, Union Minister V Muraleedharan, and leaders of various political parties condoled Chandy’s demise.
Condoling the demise of Chandy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that in his passing away India has lost a humble and dedicated leader who devoted his life to public service and worked towards the progress of Kerala.
“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,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi said, “Oommen Chandy represented the spirit of Kerala and India. He was the true leader of the people of Kerala. We will miss him. We loved him very much and we remember him fondly. My condolences to his family and everybody who loved him.”
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said a historic chapter in Kerala politics came to an end with his demise.
“His contributions to our state as an administrator, political leader & people’s representative have been exemplary. Joining the grief of family, friends & supporters. Condolences,” he said in a tweet.