Oommen Chandy was on his way back from Delhi when his car was gheraoed by protesting Congress workers.

Oommen chandy sitting inside his car while protesters throng outside
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Saturday, March 13, 2021 - 14:15

Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy found himself surrounded by a sea of Congress supporters on Saturday morning. The veteran Congress leader was on his way to his Puthupally residence in Kottayam when his car was gheraoed by party workers who were protesting aggressively.

Slogans such as “We won’t give up Oommen Chandy!” “Oommen Chandy zindabad” rent the air in Puthupally. The issue that triggered this sudden protest was the former CM reportedly contesting from a different constituency this time. According to certain media reports, Oommen Chandy was not contesting from his home constituency of Puthupally and was asked by the Congress high command to contest from the Nemom seat in Thiruvananthapuram, which is the sole sitting seat of the BJP in Kerala.

"We will never allow Oommen Chandy to go to another seat and contest. We will spill sweat and blood here if that happens," said one woman protester sitting in front of Chandy's house in Puthupally. 

Chandy was on his way back from Delhi when Congress party workers surrounded his car and pleaded with him to not abandon Puthupally. Certain cadres also stood on rooftops waving the Congress flag and demanded that Chandy contest from Puthupally.

Several Congress workers including women protested in front of Chandy’s residence, stating that he had represented them for 50 years and cannot abandon the seat. According to reports, one worker even issued a suicide threat by stating that he would jump from the rooftop of a house if Oommen Chandy contested from another seat.

Supporters carrying huge cut-outs of Chandy blocked the area as women squatted before his house.

"He is our God. For the past 50 years he has been our legislator and come what may, we will not allow him to contest from anywhere other than Puthupally," said an elderly supporter.

A woman supporter said: "He will not leave Puthupally, nor will Puthupally allow him to leave. We have only one leader and that's Chandy Sir. I have worked with him for the past 40 years," said the 65-year-old.

Meanwhile, his closest aide and eight-time legislator KC Joseph was also spotted at Chandy's house and the media caught up with him. When asked about what was going on, Joseph said: "Oommen Chandy will be here only." As soon as the supporters heard it, a huge applause rang and a wave of relief was witnessed among those gathered at his house.

Joshy Phillip, the Kottayam district committee president assured the huge crowd that Chandy will be deciding the date when he will be filing his nomination from Puthupally.

Later, Chandy himself appeared before the media and said all the confusion over Nemom that the high command and state leadership have asked him to contest from there is baseless.

"My name has been cleared by the high command to contest from Puthupally. I had called my local leaders to come and somehow a wrong message was sent out. "I have realised the love and affection of my electorate here and I assure all I will contest from Puthupally," said Chandy standing among his jostling supporters.

With IANS inputs

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