Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 20 May 2024 6.56 PM IST

Kerala bids farewell to Congress's biggest crowd puller; Oommen Chandy laid to rest


KOTTAYAM: Former CM Oommen Chandy has been laid to rest in the Puthupally St. George Valiyapalli amidst paeans from tens of thousands to the departed leader. The funeral procedures were delayed earlier after thousands blanketed the place, to see a last glimpse of their leader. The unwavering compassion, the large-heartedness, and the smile of the congress veteran will remain eternal among the masses in Kerala.

Oommen Chandy will rest in his favorite abode of St George Valiyapalli, where he used to turn up for solace during his tenure as CM and as a party worker. The biggest crowd puller of the congress in Kerala will be placed to rest while the customary 21-gun salute will be missing. The funeral procedures were earlier fixed at 7 pm, but the family and the church authorities were taken aback after seeing the deluge of people coming to pay obeisance to their leader. Some people were emotionally shattered that they refused to move past the coffin. Such love and bereavement over a political leader's passing is unprecedented in Kerala’s recent history.

During the final journey from Thiruvananthapuram to Kottayam, thousands were crammed on either side of the road, to bid farewell to the leader. The low-floor bus took 15 long hours to slither past the populace to reach Kottayam. When the mortal remains reached St George's church, the time was well past 9 pm. However, nothing could have stopped the people who thronged in long beelines waiting for one final look. Police and the congress leaders engaged in some toiling works to control the people since the numbers were surging high when even after the clock ticked 11 pm.

Film stars Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Dileep, and other prominent people from the political arena came to pay their last respects. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, and West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose also arrived to pay their last respects.

Lakhs of people gathered when the funeral procession reached the Kottayam DCC office. Kottayam has become flooded with ​​people who came to pay their last respects to Oommen Chandy. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reached Puthuppally to pay tributes to Oommen Chandy. Cardinal Mar Alencherry will also participate in the funeral ceremony.

Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, the supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Of India will head the final rituals according to Christian beliefs. Ministers V N Vasavan, K N Balagopal, Saji Cherian, P Prasad, and Roshy Augustine represented the government in Puthupally and laid a floral wreath as a touching tribute to the former CM. A special tomb has been erected in St. George Valiyapalli where Puthupally's own 'Kunjunju' will rest far away from the hassles of crowds.

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