Oommen Chandy's wife, children to seek votes for UDF to counter rumours over BJP-shift

Mariyamma Oommen reveals the reasons that compelled her to hit the road for the UDF. Photo: File/ Manorama.

All the family members of the late Oommen Chandy, a former Chief Minister and one of the tallest Congress leaders in Kerala, will campaign for the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) candidates to dispel rumours that they are planning to join the BJP.

While Chandy’s wife Mariyamma Oommen will start her election programmes from Kooropada in Kottayam on Tuesday, the late leader’s daughters Mariyam and Achu will join her in the coming days. Chandy’s son Chandy Oommen, who is a legislator from Puthuppally, is already active in the field.

Mariyamma Oommen reveals the reasons that compelled her to hit the road for the UDF.

What made you decide to take part in the election campaign?
I am unaware of the discussions on social media as I don’t use a mobile phone. Moreover, I don’t discuss politics with my children. Consequently, I was late in hearing about the false propaganda that my children were joining the BJP. This development caused me much distress and all the family members of Oommen Chandy will seek votes for the UDF to counter such fake news.

Are you planning to take action against those spreading the lies?
Neither I nor my children will ever join the BJP even if somebody threatens to chop us into several pieces. We will stay firmly with the Congress party, which gave Oommen Chandy all his positions, including the Chief Minister’s post. The family too has benefited from the honours given to Oommen Chandy.

What would be your campaign issues?
We will seek votes for Oommen Chandy. The victory of the INDIA bloc and the Congress is crucial to preserving the unity of the country. We will try to take this message to the people.

How do you feel campaigning against BJP candidate Anil Antony, the son of veteran Congress leader A K Antony?
In an election, only issues matter; not individuals. We will not launch personal attacks. I am seeking votes for the INDIA bloc and the Congress.

Do you have any previous experience in poll campaigning?
I engaged in election-related work in our constituency during the poll held after the demise of my mother-in-law. At that time, Oommen Chandy was grieving over the death of his mother and had suffered an injury to his leg. I felt that I should be beside him all the time. Oommen Chandy only asked me whether I would be able to endure all the hectic travelling involved in an election campaign.

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