A working birthday for Oomen Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 31 (IANS) "I am back to my work," said Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy who refused to accept even a single cake to mark his 70th birthday Thursday.

"Oh no, I do not believe in any celebrations and hence today (Thursday) will be like any other day," he said.

"I have functions to attend at Kottayam and also at Kochi. The rest period as asked by the doctors is over and hence I am back to my work," Chandy told IANS.

Chandy was injured in stone-pelting Sunday when his convoy came under attack at Kannur by suspected CPI-M activists. He was discharged from hospital Tuesday.

Chandy and his family Wednesday evening left for his home town in Kottayam.

"He will return only late tonight or early tomorrow to his official residence here. Ever since he was injured in an attack by the CPI-M workers at Kannur Sunday, his official residence has been crowded and hence his decision to go away from here along with his entire family...," said a close aide of Chandy.

Since Wednesday afternoon, the number of visitors both from his constituency at Puthupally in Kottayam district and from his ancestral home near Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district has been increasing.

"He has given a direction that not a single cake should be accepted from anyone...because he knows if he accepts one, then he will have to accept hundreds," added the aide.

En route to Kottayam Wednesday night, the family spent some time in prayers at the famed St. Peter's and St. Paul's Orthodox Church, Parumala (Parumala Pally), a prominent parish church of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, to which Chandy belongs.

The chief minister and his family spent the night at the Kottayam guest house and Thursday morning all of them prayed at the St George Orthodox Church, located a stone's throw from his Puthupally residence.

"His visit here was not expected but still a huge crowd had gathered to greet him at his home besides enquiring of his health," said his personal assistant.

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