Oommen Chandy Biography

About Oommen Chandy

Oommen Chandy is a two-time former Chief Minister of Kerala. He belongs to the Congress Party. He served as the Chief Minister of the state from 2004 to 2006 and 2011 to 2016 and has been a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly for over forty years.

As Chief Minister, in a bid to enforce transparency of his office, he initiated the live web streaming of his office and meeting chamber. The live streaming started on July 1, 2011. He has also initiated a Whistle Blower Protection Policy, further to reducing corruption.

He initiated the Kochi Metro Rail project and a High Speed Rail Corridor from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram.

In 2012, he was given a clean chit by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau investigating the 1991 Palmolein Import Scam.

Personal Background

Born on 31st October, 1943 at Kumarakom in the Kottayam district of Kerala to Puthupally K O Chandy and Baby Chandy, Oommen Chandy was educated at St George, Puthupally. He graduated from CMS Kottayam and SB College, Changanassery. He later studied law at Law College, Ernakulam. While in college he served as the President of Kerala Students’ Union and was elected President of the State Youth Congress in 1970. He is married to Mariamma Oommen and they have two daughters and one son.

Political Career

He was elected as a member of Kerala legislative Assembly in 1970 from Puthupally constituency. He won the assembly elections from the same constituency nine times; in 1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011.

During his long tenure he served as a minister for short spells and held diverse portfolios.

He was given the portfolio of Labour in the K Karunakaran Ministry in 1977. He retained his portfolio in the succeeding A K Antony ministry in 1978.

From 1981 to 1982, he was appointed Home Minister by the Chief Minister K Karunakaran and, subsequently, he was appointed the Finance Minister from 1991 to 1994. He resigned from the cabinet in 1994 following his differences with the Chief Minister K Karunakaran.

In August 2004, he was elected as the leader of the Congress legislature party and served as the Chief Minister of the State. However, he resigned after the Congress led alliance, the UDF, was defeated in the 2006 Assembly Elections.

Mr Chandy was then chosen as the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly in the twelfth Kerala Assembly in 2006. Congress won 16 out of 20 parliament constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and in 2011, the United Democratic Front (the Congress led alliance) got a slender majority in the Assembly elections and Oommen Chandy was sworn in as the Chief Minister on May 18, 2011.

Awards and Honours

Oommen Chandy received the 2013 United Nations Public Service Award from the Asia-Pacific region, for the category “Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service.”