Oommen Chandy is a two-time former chief minister of Kerala. He has served in this position from 2004 to 2006 and 2011 to 2016. He was also Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 2006 to 2011. He has been elected to the state legislative Assembly for ten times.
Chandy started his political career through the Kerala Students Union (KSU), which he served as president from 1967 to 1969. He was elected as the president of the State Youth Congress in 1970.
He has represented the Puthuppally Constituency for decades, having been elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1970, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. During his legislative career he had also served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee during 1996–98.
In the 2011 Assembly elections, the Oommen Chandy-led United Democratic Front (UDF) clinched victory by a thin margin of four seats. The UDF won 72 assembly seats, just four more than its rival, the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which got 68. Subsequently, Chandy was sworn in as the Chief Minister on 18 May 2011. While serving as the Chief Minister of the state, Chandy also held the portfolio of Vigilance, which he had to give up when a fresh probe was ordered into the Palm Oil scam.
Although Chandy had become the Chief Minister of the state after his party UDF’s slender majority, he introduced 107 programs to put the state’s development on a fast track under the 100-day program of the government. The state government, under Chandy’s leadership, managed to launch 101 of these 107 programs.
Chandy has been sworn in as a minister in Kerala four times. He was the Minister for Labour from 11 April 1977 to 25 April 1977 in the first K. Karunakaran Ministry and continued holding the same portfolio in the succeeding first A.K. Antony Ministry till 27 October 1978. He was in the charge of Home portfolio in the second K. Karunakaran Ministry from 28 December 1981 to 17 March 1982. Again, he was sworn in as a minister in the fourth K.Karunakaran Ministry on 2 July 1991. He was in charge of Finance Portfolio and resigned from the cabinet on 22 June 1994 due to difference with the Chief Minister.
Oommen Chandy Awards and Honors
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.” The award was presented on 27 June 2013, in Manama, Bahrain, by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo. The award was based on the theme “Transformative e-Government and Innovation: Creating a Better Future for All.”