|Chief Minister of Kerala|
May 18, 2011
|Governor||R. S. Gavai
M. O. H. Farooq
H. R. Bhardwaj
|Preceded by||V.S. Achuthanandan|
|Chief Minister of Kerala|
August 31, 2004 – May 18, 2006
|Preceded by||A. K. Antony|
|Succeeded by||V.S. Achuthanandan|
October 31, 1943 |
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Children||1 son and 2 daughters|
|Religion||Christian, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church|
|As of Nov 2, 2007
Source: Govt. of Kerala
Oommen Chandy (Malayalam: ഉമ്മന് ചാണ്ടി)( pronunciation (help·info))(born October 31, 1943) is an Indian politician and is the current Chief Minister of Kerala since May 2011. Previously he was Chief Minister from 2004 to 2006, and he was the Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly from 2006 to 2011.
Early life 
Oommen Chandy or 'Kunjoonju' was born to K.O. Chandy and Baby Chandy in a Malayali Syrian Christian family at Kumarakom, Kottayam district, Kerala. Oommen is another Nasrani name variant for the name Thomas, and Chandy means Alexander.
Chandy ventured into the political arena as an activist of Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of the party. He was the unit president of KSU at St George High School, Puthupally, and went on to become the State President of the organization. Chandy completed his college education from CMS College, Kottayam, SB College, Changanassery. Later, he took a bachelors degree in law (LLB) from Government Law College, Ernakulam. He is also a trade unionist and heads several INTUC affiliated outfits.
Political life 
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 is the 21st chief minister of Kerala at present.
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 and 2011. During his legislative career he had also served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee during 1996–98.
|Year||Closest rival||Majority (votes)|
|1982||Thomas Rajan (ICS)||15,983|
|1996||Reji Zacharia (CPM)||10,155|
|2001||Cherian Philip(CPM Ind.)||12,575|
|2006||Sindhu Joy (CPM)||19,863|
|2011||Suja Susan George (CPM)||33,255|
Chandy sworn as a minister in Kerala for four times. He was the Minister for Labour from 11.04.1977 to 25.04.1977 in the first K. Karunakaran Ministry and continued holding the same portfolio in the succeeding first A.K. Antony Ministry till 27.10.1978. He was in the charge of Home portfolio in the second K. Karunakaran Ministry from 28.12.1981 to 17.03.1982. Again, he was sworn in as a minister in the fourth K.Karunakaran Ministry on July 2, 1991. He was in charge of Finance Portfolio and resigned from the cabinet on 22.06.1994 due to difference with the Chief Minister.
Minister in different ministries 
|No.||Head of the Ministry||Period||Portfolio|
|1||K. Karunakaran||11/04/1977 – 25.04/1977||Labour|
|2||A. K. Antony||27/04/1977 – 27/10/1978||Labour|
|3||K. Karunakaran||28/12/1981 – 17/03/1982||Home|
|4||K. Karunakaran||02/07/1991 – 22/06/1994||Finance|
|5||Oommen Chandy||31/08/2004 – 18/05/2006||Chief Minister|
|6||Oommen Chandy||17/05/2011 – till Date||Chief Minister|
Chief Minister 2004–2006 
The results of the parliamentary elections in May 2004 saw the Indian National Congress not winning a single seat in Kerala. The sitting Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, was forced to resign and accept responsibility for the poor results. On August 30, 2004, Oommen was elected the Congress Legislature Party leader at the end of a meeting by AICC observers and clearance by the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. In what may be seen as a reflection of his work as Chief Minister, the Congress-led alliance was defeated, but managed to retain 40 out of 140 seats in the assembly and boost its vote-share by nearly 10% after the general election rout. He resigned as Chief Minister on May 12, 2006 following the defeat of his party in 2006 Assembly Elections.
Leader of Opposition 
Oommen Chandy was the leader of opposition in the twelfth Kerala Legislative Assembly. Under his leadership UDF marked victories in Lok Sabha Election 2009 gaining 16 out of 20 parliament constituencies in Kerala. and Local Body Election 2010. In the history of Kerala politics it's the first time that the UDF got an upper hand in local body elections.
Leader of Congress Parliamentary Party 
After winning the closely contested 2011 assembly election, Congress legislative party unanimously elected Oommen Chandy as its leader. At the Congress Legislature Party meeting, Mr. Chandy's name was proposed by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala and seconded by Aryadan Mohammed. The election process was formally launched after Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Mohsina Kidwai and AICC general secretary Madhusoodan Mistry, who is in charge of Kerala, held a one-to-one meeting in their capacity as observers with the 38 elected MLAs.
Second term as Chief Minister (from 2011 onwards) 
UDF (United Democratic Front) led by Oommen Chandy secured a slender margin in assembly election which held on April 13, 2011. UDF candidates won in 72 seats against 68 seats of LDF (Left Democratic Front). He took the oath on May 18, 2011 with six other ministers of his cabinet. Later thirteen other ministers were also inducted into his cabinet. He gave up Vigilance Portfolio in early August 2011, after a fresh probe was ordered on the Palm Oil case (which happened when he was Finance Minister in 1992).
Though UDF came to power with a wafer thin majority, his 100 days programmes announced propelled the state fast forward. 107 programmes were announced as part of the 100 days programme of the Government. Out of this the government could accomplished a whopping figure of 101 leaving just 6 of the programmes unfinished. This really gave a boost to the governance. The policies adopted by Oommen Chandy helped to bridge the gap between people and officials.
UNDP appreciated Oommen Chandy, for the range of innovative practices in democratic governance, initiated by the Government of Kerala in strengthening people's access and participation in human development and governance. They were impressed by the innovative approach to ensure transparency and accountability in Governance, particularly the to web-stream the entire functioning of CM’s office. The Mass Contact Programme, in many ways, is the first of its kind to ensure the right to direct access to leaders and senior civil servants of the government.
Rehabilitation of Moolampilly Victims 
The government and representatives of people evicted from Moolampilly for the Vallarpadam Tranship Container Terminal Project in Kochi reached an agreement settling outstanding issues regarding the rehabilitation.
The government would provide water supply, electricity, and road connectivity to a common point in each of the plots earmarked for resettlement of the evictees who had lost their homes. The area would be demarcated in such a way that coastal zone regulations would not come in the way of constructing two-storied buildings with sufficient built-up area. A sum of Rs.75,000 would be given to each family for piling as the land given was marshy.
The government would continue to provide rent at Rs.5,000 a month to the evictees up to six months after the establishment of the infrastructure facilities promised by the government. The arrears in rent for the past 27 months would also be paid to them.
State government would take up with the Cochin Port Trust the issue of providing jobs to a member of each of the evicted families at the Vallarpadam project.
The government would withdraw all cases against the evictees and those who assisted them in their agitation excluding those involving violence and destruction of property. The Revenue Department would write to the Centre seeking exemption of compensation paid to the evictees from income tax on capital gains. Conditions on titles given under the rehabilitation package would be relaxed to enable the evictees pledge the land to banks for availing loans.
It was also decided at the conference that 12 families who had been denied allotment of land under the rehabilitation package would be given titles. They would be given all the benefits under the package upon their forfeiting compensation paid under the Land Acquisition Act and withdrawal of cases filed by them against the government. Two of the evictees, Joy John and John Joseph, who lost their livelihood would be given assistance to start a trade.
A monitoring committee headed by the District Collector would oversee implementation of the agreement and bring issues, to the notice of the government.
Aid for endosulfan victims 
The UDF Government had increased the aid from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. As many as 176 victims who had been given Rs 50,000 earlier were given an additional Rs 50,000 on Monday. The remaining families in the list of 486 victims were distributed Rs 1 lakh each.
Enforcing transparency 
In an attempt to enforce transparency 24x7 live webcast streaming of Chief ministers office and meeting chamber started on July 1, 2011. This is streamed on the official website of the Chief Minister of Kerala.
Teacher's Package 
A package was introduced for the teacher's of aided school's of Kerala. It helped teachers who lost their job in schools that had no or less number of students. The package transferred jobless teachers into other schools.The procedures of teachers bank were done online. The teacher's bank came effective from the academic year 2011–12.
Major Initiatives 
Right to Service Act 
The Kerala Assembly on 25-07-2012 passed a landmark piece of legislation, the Right to Service Act. The Act gives every eligible person the right to obtain government services within a time frame. It provides for effective, time-bound redress of grievances of citizens, delivery of services to the public and making government servants liable in case of default. Thirteen government services and nine services related to the Police Department were under the purview of the legislation in the first phase. The services provided by any government department, local self-government institution, State public sector undertaking or a statutory body will come under its purview. The Act provides for payment of penalty for failure to provide service without a sufficient and reasonable cause. The liability of paying fine rests with the designated officer and the amount will not be less than Rs. 500 and not more than Rs. 5,000. The Act will provide a system whereby the public can make government servants answerable in terms of their functions, duties, commitments and obligations towards the people. The people will be made aware of the rights, obligations and entitlements in relations to these.
Air Kerala Project 
Air Kerala is a Low Cost Carrier (LCC) airline project initiated by the Government of Kerala to be based in Kochi, Kerala, India. The airline is planned to commence operations in April 2013. The State government, Cochin International Airport Ltd. and public sector undertakings will together hold 26 per cent of the shares of the company. The Government plans to launch the airline by April 14, 2013, to coincide with Vishu, new year’s day in the Malayalam calendar.
Kochi Metro Rail Project 
An alternate mode of public transport the metro will definitely ease the traffic of Kochi city. The project will bring about a more equitable allocation of road space. It is being set up at an estimated cost of 5,146 crore, and is expected to be completed in 2015. The first phase of the project is from Thripunithura to Aluva spanning 25.253 km.Project will be implemented in the Delhi metro model and E Sreedharan will head the project.
High Speed Rail Corridor 
The High Speed Rail Corridor is proposed from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram. Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation has been named the nodal agency for the High Speed Rail Corridor. It would become operational by 2020. It has been proposed to use Japanese technology. DMRC is entrusted to study the feasibility of the project and will soon submit a detailed project.
Mono rail 
The project will be completed in two phases. The first will be from Pallipuram to Thampanoor and the second from Thampanoor to Neyyatinkara. The total cost of the project will be Rs. 5130 crore. At a time 600 persons can travel in the monorail. This will ease the traffic congestion in the city. The monorail will also come up at Kozhikode as the study has pointed that the project is feasible for this city too.
Whistle blower policy 
Strengthening the whistle blower policy, the Chief Minister announced that his government would undertake an initiative to reward those who provide vital clues or evidence of corruption in any area, providing protection to them. An expert committee has been already formed for setting up the state Whistle Blower Protection Policy and soon this would become operational.
Vizhinjam International Port 
Vizhinjam International Deep-sea Container Terminal is expected to become operational by 2015. The state government has prepared a time-bound action plan to complete the project.
Vision 2030 
Suggestions and ideas from enlightened Keralites are sought for envisaging comprehensive development plan of Kerala. Public can send their suggestions, ideas, views etc. for the development of Kerala so as to envisage its vision for 2030. This online platform intends to ensure the participation of all Keralites for arriving comprehensive development plan for Kerala.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project 
Kerala has been included in the second phase of this project, expected to begin in September 2012. Project would include pollution control, mangrove and wetland preservation, provision of livelihood options for fishermen, etc.
Public Grievance Lodging & Monitoring System 
This is an online system where citizens can lodge their grievances related to any department in Government of Kerala through this portal. The grievance would be forwarded to the concerned authorities for needful action. Chief Minister’s Public Grievance Redressal Cell- Call Center is a physical place, which works 24X7, where anybody can make telephone calls to 1076 (Tollfree number) and can register their complaints to Chief Minister’s Call Center.
Live webcast of office 
To ensure maximum transparency in administration of UDF Government, the office of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy went live on the Internet from 1 st July 2011 with 24-hour live webcast of the functioning of the office and CM’s chamber. The scheme was one of the agenda included in Chief Minister’s 100-day action plan.
24x7 office 
The CM’s office works 24×7 on all the days. He has been said as the only Chief Minister in the country who keeps himself visible to the public when in office through a webcast.
His office and cabinet can be visible through the website http://www.keralacm.gov.in/.
The 24×7 call center would facilitate people to register their grievances and complaints directly to the CM’s office by telephone. The call center would function 24×7 and can be accessed on 1076- toll free number, for BSNL customers. Those using other services will have to dial 1800 425 1076 for accessing the service. People calling from abroad have to fix the code 0471 before the toll free number.
Emerging Kerala Meet 
Emerging Kerala is an investors summit held during 12–14 September 2012, aimed at bringing together business leaders, investors, corporations, thought leaders, policy and opinion makers; the summit is advertised as a platform to understand and explore business opportunities in the State of Kerala.
Palmolein Import Scam 
The allegation of Palmolein Import Scam occurred during the year 1991–92 in the Kerala state when K. Karunakaran was the chief minister of the state and the ruling party was United Democratic Front. During this time Oommen Chandy was the Finance Minister of the state and was responsible for financial accounts of the state of Kerala. This scam allegedly caused a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state. The case once closed after the death of K. Karunakaran in December 2010 was reopened in March 2011 during the election period of 2011. However this did not affect the election results to a great extent.
The court stated that Oommen Chandy had approved of the import of palmolein through "Power and Energy Ltd" by paying 15% service charge and it was evident from his signature in the note. However the court has not been able to show any direct involvement of Oommen Chandy in the scam . Aiding to the investigation of the case in 2011, when the case was reopen, Oommen Chandy, the then Chief Minister had agreed to step down from the Office of Chief Minister of Kerala in 2011, and face the case "legally and morally". But on the advice on Congress core committee, Oommen Chandy continues to stay incumbent. To provide more trust and transparency to the investigation, Oommen Chandy gave up the portfolio of Vigilance and Anti Corruption.
The vigilance court asked the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau to submit its investigation report of the palmolein case by November 10, 2011. The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) gave a clean chit to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on January 7, 2012. The Vigilance team submitted its further probe report in the palmolein import case, saying there was no evidence to arraign Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as an accused.
The facts, evidences and circumstances of the case in the probe showed Oommen Chandy had not committed any illegal acts or omissions as the then finance minister, the report said.
The VACB report said Oommen Chandy was not part of the conspiracy which caused the state exchequer a loss of Rs 2.32 crore. He had not acted in a manner to ensure undue monetary advantage for the private firm involved in the import.
Mass Contact Program (Janasambarka paripadi) 
Heralding a new system of governance the Mass Contact Programme resolved around 3,11,075 complaints of the common people. MCP was conducted in all 14 districts of the state. The programme lasted for an average of 16 hours in each district. Financial assistance of Rs 22.68 crore was distributed.A permanent monitoring mechanism was put in place.Mass Contact Programme helped in identifying usual bottlenecks; amendments and changes in policy that were required; and also in guiding the Government to move faster and adopt to new approaches to ensure welfare of the people.
Calls for Resignation 
Apart from protests, the regular proceedings of the Kerala legislature was disrupted on 2 consecutive days beginning April 2nd 2013 until April 3rd 2013 with the opposition CPM political party demanding the resignation of Mr Oommen Chandy. It strongly condemned the callous nature of Oommen Chandy who refused to accept a letter of complaint from Dr Yamini Thankachy whose husband then forest minister Mr Ganesh Kumar had assaulted her brutally under the circumstances of an extramarital affair that Mr Ganesh Kumar was alleged to have. It was widely believed that the refusal of Mr Oommen Chandy to accept a letter of complaint from Dr Yamini was to diffuse the crisis involving a member in his cabinet and further avoid any embarrassment for his government who had just a razor thin majority in the legislative assembly. Accepting a letter of complaint would mean that further actions would be mandated from the chief minister such as ordering a criminal investigation under the Indian penal code. It was strongly believed by his rivals that Mr Oommen Chandy had violated the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 by not taking up this matter to law enforcement authorities in the very first encounter that Dr Yamini had with Mr Oommen Chandy, but instead Mr Oommen Chandy tried to diffuse it by asking more time to mediate this matter by negotiation, as reported by Dr Yamini Thankachi. 
See also 
- Krishnan, Anantha. "Kerala assembly elections 2011: UDF wins by narrow margin". The Times Of India.
- "Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy gives up vigilance portfolio after probe order". The Times Of India. August 9, 2011.
- "Kerala gets two more ministers". The Hindu (Chennai, India). April 13, 2012.
- "Oommen Chandy sworn in Kerala CM". Chennai, India: The Hindu. May 18, 2011.
- Bajaj, Vikas (July 17, 2011). "Transparent Government, via Webcams in India". New York, United States of America: The New York Times.
- LDF ministry led by V. S. Achuthanandan which had originally mooted the project Times of India, Feb 13, 2012
- Probe Chandy’s role in 1992 Palmolein case Zee News, Thiruvananthapuram, August 8, 2011
- Palmolein import scandal case to be reopened The Economic Times,Thiruvanathapuram, March 15, 2011
- Palmolein case: Chandy knew, feels the Court The New Indian Express, August 10, 2011
- Palm oil deal glare on Chandy The Telegraph,Thiruvananthapuram, August 8, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Oommen Chandy|
A. K. Antony
|Chief Minister of Kerala
August 31, 2004 – May 18, 2006
V. S. Achuthanandan
V. S. Achuthanandan
|Chief Minister of Kerala
2011– till date