Kochi: Former Assembly Speaker and senior Congress leader A.C. Jose (79) has died. He died of heart attack in Kochi after midnight Saturday. His funeral will take place at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at St. George Forane church, Edappally.
Jose, who was active in politics from school days, played a dominant role in the formation of Kerala Students Union (KSU), and later became its president. From 1969 to 1979 he was a Councilor in the Cochin City Corporation and in 1972 he became its youngest Mayor.
He was elected Member to the Kerala Legislative Assembly from Paravur Constituency in 1980.
He lost to Sivan Pillai in Paravur by a small margin of 123 votes when electronic voting machines were first introduced in the country in 1982 in assembly elections on a limited basis.
Jose appealed in the Supreme Court alleging that the use of electronic voting machines in elections was illegal and prayed that the election be set aside. The court ruled in his favor. He won the re-poll by more than 3000 votes.
While serving as the Speaker in 1982, Jose exercised the casting vote to save the UDF government led by K Karunakaran, when the ruling front and the Opposition tied with equal number of votes, thus becoming the only Speaker in the history of Kerala Assembly who had used the casting vote to retain a government in power. He was elected to the Indian parliament thrice.
A prominent trade union leader, Jose had been Chairman of the Coir Board.
He was serving as the Managing Editor of Veekshanam Daily. He is survived by his wife Leelaamma Jose, a retired professor, and four children.
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