Kerala assembly elections: Oommen Chandy hopes to create history by retaining power

Oommen Chandy (Photo: Wikipedia)
72-year old Oommen Chandy is no doubt one of the strongest candidates for the Congress party and the United Democratic Front (UDF), Kerala. Having succesfully led the UDF government for the last five years as the Chief Minister of Kerala, he is approaching the voters with claims on various progressive actions he has taken during his tenure.

Born as the son of K O Chandy and Baby Chandy, in October 1943, he entered politics through the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the Kerala wing of the students' union of the Indian National Congress. He rose in the Youth Congress and All India Congress Committee (AICC) and became the Minister for Labour in 1977. Later, he handled the Home and Finance portfolios during 1981 and 1991 respectively. He became the Chief Minister from August 31, 2004 and was the opposition leadeer in the 12th Kerala Legislative Assembly. He took charge as the Chief Minister of the State again, on May 18, 2016.

Having won 10 times from Puthuppally constituency, Chandy is hoping he will be re-elected this time as well. While he took on several important projects to push growth in the state, the final years of his term has been mired in controversies like the Solar energy scam and allegations of bribery against his ministry colleagues on the issue of partial prohibition. One of the key accused in the Solar scam case, Saritha Nair has also accused Chandy and his key associates of taking sexual favors and bribes. The opposition parties have used these allegations to corner Chandy and the Congress, making this as the single focus this election in a bid to topple the UDF from power. However, Chandy is hoping that the voters will continue to opt for him keeping in mind the steps his government has taken to improve the social and economic indicators of the State. 

If the UDF returns to power, chances are high that he will be back as the Chief Minister of Kerala. His influence on the Congress leadership in Dehi was once again asserted when most of his demands related to the candidates for the election was met, despite severe opposition within the party. 

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