Thirteen proved unlucky for K R Gowri, the seniormost politician in Kerala, as she failed in her bid to become a member of the Kerala Assembly for the 13th time.
Considered the Grande Dame of Kerala politics, 86-year-old Gowri, who was a member of the first elected Comm-unist government in the world headed by E M S Namboodiripad in 1957, was defeated by the CPI-M's A M Arif.
Since the first elections in 1957 after the formation of the state, Gowri has always been in the poll arena and won always except in 1977 when she lost to the CPI's P S Sreenivasan from Aroor.
Gowri, a firebrand Communist leader who was expelled from the party in 1994, formed the Janadhipatiya Samrakshana Samithi and became an ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front. She contested the 1996 elections on the JSS ticket and took sweet revenge on the CPI-M by giving a drubbing to the CPI-M candidate, winning by 61,972 votes.
Gowri has the distinction of contesting and emerging victorious in the first election held in the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin state in 1951 as an independent candidate from Thuravoor.
In the interim election to the Assembly in 1954, she emerged successful, contesting on the Communist party ticket from Shertally.
It was in the elections in 1965 that Gowri first contested from Aroor. She was then a Marxist candidate and won from the constituency against Devaki Krishnan (Cong), mother of Congress leader and Union minister Vayalar Ravi.
Ever since her defeat in 1977, she had always emerged victorius from the constituency.