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K R Gouri beaten in home turf

Written by: Staff
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Thiruvananthapuram, May 11 (UNI) The dream of the oldest woman legislator in Kerala, Agriculture Minister K R Gouri, to return to the State Assembly for a record thirteenth time was shattered today, when she lost the elections to CPI-M debutant A M Arif in her home constituency of Aroor.

One of the major upsets of this election, the 87-year-old leader of the Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) lost by a margin of 4,753 votes, defeated only for the second time in her more than five-decade-long political career.

The longest serving legislative member in the state, she had returned to the Assembly from Aroor eight times, tasting defeat only once in 1977 after the Emergency when she lost to P S Sreenivasan of the CPI.

She was first elected to the Travancore Cochin Legislative Assembly in 1952 and again in 1954. After the state of Kerala was formed in 1956, she was elected from Shertalai in the first Legislative Assembly and went on to become Revenue Minister.

She was the only woman member in the third Assembly between 1967 and 70.

In 1987, when the LDF came to power, Gouri Amma came tantalisingly close to becoming the first woman chief minister of Kerala, but was sidelined amid allegations of caste bias in the Communist party. She belongs to the backward Ezhava community.

In 1994, she was expelled by the CPI(M) for anti-party activities and founded the JSS which aligned with the UDF.

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