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Suresh Gopi scripts history for BJP in Kerala

Gopi's elevation as a Union minister marked a milestone in his life as well as in BJP's political trajectory in the southern state.

News Arena Network - Thrissur - UPDATED: June 10, 2024, 06:40 AM - 4 mins read

Suresh Gopi scripts history for BJP in Kerala

Suresh Gopi scripts history for BJP in Kerala

File Picture of BJP leader Suresh Gopi.


From police officers to politician, to notable journalist to liquor baron, Suresh Gopi’s heroes signified alpha male. They never failed so there was no question of a comeback.

 

However, in real life, Gopi is known for his comebacks— be it in his profession as an actor or his passionate career as a politician.

 

The latest among them is his triumph as a politician as he won from Kerala’s Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency on BJP’s ticket.

 

His elevation as a Union minister marks a milestone in Gopi’s eventful life as well as Bharatiya Janata Party’s political trajectory in the southern state.

 

With his grit and valour, Gopi has proved that there is nothing wrong in being ambitious as long as you are prepared to work your way up.

 

At 65, he became BJP’s first-ever Lok Sabha MP from Kerala in the third electoral contest after two defeats, first in LS elections and then in assembly polls, in a span of five years.

 

In the five years, he kept working amid his potential electorate even as controversies one after another followed him.

 

Early life

 

Born in Alappuzha, Gopi was brought up in Kollam. A postgraduate in English from Fatima Mata National College, Gopi wanted to become a civil servant.

He appeared for the exams twice but destiny had other plans— he landed as a film actor. In the early days of his career as an actor, he ruled the box office, but had to face a series of failures by early 2000s. 

 

Politics was always part of Suresh Gopi’s life, though it changed colours in between. During his college days in the seventies, he was active in the Students' Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPM. He also campaigned for the CPM-led Left Democratic Front and Congress-led United Democratic Front in different constituencies in the 2006 assembly polls.

 

In the late 70s, he played his own part in the Save Silent Valley movement against a proposed hydroelectric project in a tropical rain forest in Palakkad.

By the early 90s, he found his way to stardom as he got the opportunity to play lead roles in a series of thrillers. He proved his acting prowess in the 1997 movie Kaliyattam, which landed him the national award for best actor.

 

Connection with the BJP


Gopi addresses Narendra Modi and Amit Shah as his political ideals. It was Modi who realised Gopi’s potential as a politician first. Ahead of his 2014 mandate, Modi met Gopi and the meeting, reportedly, lasted for three hours. 

 

Modi wanted Suresh Gopi to contest from Kollam or Thiruvananthapuram in 2014 itself but he was not ready. In 2016, the BJP nominated him to the Rajya Sabha and he joined the party.

 

By the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Gopi had become an integral part of the BJP ecosystem. The duo found in him a strong contender in Thrissur, a constituency where they saw huge chances just like Thiruvananthapuram.

 

Gopi, with his star power, personal appeal and unwavering support from BJP national leadership, improved the party’s vote share sizeably, though the seat went to the Congress. This is despite Suresh Gopi and his party trying hard to amplify the Sabarimala women entry row. 

 

In 2021, Suresh Gopi was fielded in Thrissur assembly constituency and he ended up second behind CPI by 5,000 votes.

 

Between 2019 and 2022, he was made a member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Coconut Development Board. 

 

Despite the two losses, Suresh Gopi stayed put in Thrissur and did extensive networking among different sections of people. His efforts, along with the BJP leadership’s desperate attempts to woo the Christian community, and massive support from women across political and religious lines, seem to have contributed to his victory in Thrissur. 

 

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