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Former minister Vakkom Purushothaman passes away at 96

Former two-time Kerala Assembly Speaker Vakkom Purushothaman, 96, passed away. Mr. Purushothaman commenced his political life as a Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) activist in 1952. He won a seat in the Vakkom panchayat council on the party ticket. When practising as lawyer at the Thiruvananthapuram Bar, former Chief Minister R.Shankar spotted Mr. Purushothaman’s flair for politics and persuaded him to quit the RSP and join the Congress.

Life and Political Career of Vakkom Purushothaman

  • However, his maiden innings in electoral politics was a failure. He lost consecutive Assembly elections in 1967 and 1969. However, he tasted victory by defeating CPI(M) veteran Kattayikonam Sreedharan and bagged the Attingal Assembly constituency for the Congress in 1970.
  • He served as Minister for Agriculture and Labour in the Achutha Menon government (1971-77) and drafted laws ensuring the welfare of farm and headload workers.
  • Mr. Purushothaman retained Attingal for Congress in the 1977, 1980 and 1982 State elections. After the ‘A’ group split from the Congress, he joined as Health and Tourism Minister in the 1980 E.K. Nayanar government. He aligned himself with the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.
  • In 1984, he bagged the Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency for the Congress by defeating CPI(M) leader Susheela Gopalan.
  • Mr. Purushothaman bid farewell to electoral politics and assumed charge as Lieutenant Governor in Andaman Nicobar. He later served as Mizoram and Meghalaya Governor.

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