While people turned up in large numbers to cast their votes in the local body elections in the district on Tuesday, two veteran voters were conspicuous by their absence.
Former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and former Communist leader K.R. Gowri did not exercise their franchise this time around.
Mr. Achuthanandan, who is currently the Chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission, was a voter of the polling booth in BUDS School, Paravur, in ward 8 of the Punnapra North grama panchayat. The former Chief Minister who is in Thiruvananthapuram, however, did not make the journey to Alappuzha due to health issues. Although he had applied for a postal vote, the State Election Commission rejected it citing that the postal vote is allowed only for COVID-19 patients, people in quarantine and polling officials.
The veteran leader who turned 97 in October reportedly exercised his franchise in every election since the 1951 Lok Sabha polls. In the previous elections, Mr. Achuthanandan cast his vote at a booth in Government Higher Secondary School, Paravur. His son Arun Kumar along with his wife cast their votes in BUDS School.
Ms. Gowri who turned 101 in July is recuperating from a fall-related injury and is in reverse quarantine at her residence at Chathanad. She was to exercise her franchise at a booth in JBS Polabhagom in the Mannath ward of the Alappuzha municipality.
“She is undergoing physiotherapy after sustaining a hip injury following a fall a couple of months ago. Besides, there is also the threat of COVID-19 and she decided not cast her vote in the local body polls,” said Ratheesh V.D., personal secretary to Ms. Gowri.