Gowri Amma readies for 17th outing

K R Gowri Amma

Gowri Amma  and Achuthanandan are perhaps the only candidates in the state past their 80s to contest in this election just as it was five years ago. However, Gowri Amma has yet another distinction: The Communist-turned-JSS leader will be contesting the Assembly elections for a record 17th time though she has switched her seat this time to Cherthala in Alappuzha district.  She will be facing CPI’s sitting MLA P Thilothaman. Ask her about her age and Gowri Amma will compare herself with Achuthanandan.

A 63-year career

Gowri Amma started contesting not just since Kerala’s first held elections in 1957, but even before that in the 1948 elections to the Travancore-Kochi Legislative Council. Though she tasted defeat in that maiden outing and later in 1977 and 2006, she has won all the 13 other contests. She was a firebrand Communist leader since her enunciation into politics from Alappuzha. She was a candidate of  the undivided communist party from 1948 to 1960 and of the CPM from 1965 onwards till she left the party in 1994 and formed the JSS which became an ally of the Congress-led UDF.

Gowri Amma became a minister five times including in the first Communist cabinet led by E M S Namboodiripad. She almost became the chief minister in 1991 when the CPM explored her candidature as the CM. However, it was V S Achuthanandan who reportedly shut out her chances by plumbing for E K Nayanar at a crucial meeting of the party state committee.

Gowri Amma had been in the news in recent times when she reportedly held parleys with CPM leaders as part of a move to return to her parent party. The UDF which came to know of it took a tough stance in the allocation of seats to her party.

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