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Oommen Chandy to be Kerala CM
August 30, 2004 21:54 IST
Last Updated: August 30, 2004 22:19 IST
Oommen Chandy was on Monday night elected Congress Legislature Party leader in Kerala.
Party leader and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced this after a CLP meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
Chandy will meet Governor R L Bhatia on Tuesday morning and will be sworn in later in the day, CLP sources said.
The CLP adopted a resolution appreciating Antony's leadership and "high moral standards".
"He has followed the footsteps of our leader Sonia Gandhi in renouncing power," the resolution said.
For Chandy, it has been a long wait under Antony's shadow.
The 61-year-old Chandy, the third most important Congress leader in Kerala after K Karunakaran and Antony, is known as an organisational man.
He has represented his home constituency of Puthuppally in Kottayam district continuously for the last 34 years.
He was the architects of the United Development Front's impressive win in the 2001 assembly election, but did not find a berth in the Cabinet.
He was made UDF convenor, a duty that he carried out smoothly.
Chandy played a crucial role in deflecting threats to the Antony government during the last three years.
He also played a major role in keeping the Antony faction in the group-ridden state Congress intact.
Born in a middle-class family at Puthuppally, Chandy studied at St George High School, Puthuppally CMS College and S B College, Changanassery, before taking a degree from the Ernakulam Law College.
Chandy started his career through the Kerala Students Union, which he served as president from 1967 to 1969.
He was elected president of the state youth Congress in 1970.
He served as minister for labour and housing (1977-78), home minister (1981-82) and finance minister (1991-94).
Chandy is also a trade unionist and heads several INTUC-affiliated outfits.
More reports from Kerala