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With resounding win, Chandy Oommen takes over the baton from his father in Kerala’s Puthuppally | Political Pulse News

In Kerala’s Puthuppally Assembly seat on Friday, a son took over the baton from his father who had kept it close to his heart for the last 53 years. The victory of Chandy Oommen37, the son of the late chief minister and Congress veteran Oommen Chandy in the bypoll is nothing short of spectacular.

In the bye-election held in the shadow of his father, who died in July this year, Chandy Jr has managed to surpass the biggest victory margin that Oommen Chandy had recorded in 2011 when he gained a lead of 33,255 votes. His victory margin was 37,719 votes.

Addressing the media after his win, Chandy Oommen termed it his father’s 13th victory. “My father has been a member of every family in Puthuppally. He was a father, a brother, a son for the people of Puthuppally. I would be here for all of you as my father had been for you. This is the victory of the people who loved my father. My father had been concerned about the development of Puthuppally over the last 53 years. That care and concern would continue. There would be continuity in development. It is a fitting reply to all those who had hunted my father,” he said.

The latest scion to rise from the Congress in Kerala, Chandy Jr is the state general secretary of the Youth Congress and the chairman of its outreach cell.

Although Chandy Sr’s legacy has played a major role in ensuring the Congress’s massive victory, his son is not a novice in politics. A law graduate, he has been associated with the party since the time his father was the state’s chief minister during 2011-2016. He had campaigned at the grass-roots level for the party in recent elections, including in the Assembly and local polls.

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Chandy Jr had already carved out a base for himself in the Puthuppally Assembly segment. In the last two Assembly elections, he campaigned actively for his father. During the bypoll, the Congress projected him as an extension of his father, who had maintained relations with most of his voters over the last five decades. Chandy Jr already had a ready launchpad, built and retrofitted by his father.

Last year, Chandy was one of the yatris who had walked with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his Bharat Jodo Yatra. Covering large parts of the yatra barefoot, he had missed only a couple of days when he flew to Germany to accompany his father for medical treatment. He also maintains a good rapport with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the party’s main ally in Kerala.

Like his father, Chandy has also developed a habit of addressing the needs of party cadres in crisis. Congress leaders often recall a party event in Kollam two years ago, at which a mundu (dhoti)-clad Chandy was present, when they received a message about a local court taking up the bail application of some Youth Congress workers arrested in a political protest. A practising lawyer, Chandy immediately borrowed a gown from a colleague and appeared for the workers, they say.

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