Sunday, July 21, 2024

Film star to union minister

Suresh Gopi, born Suresh G. Nair, is the eldest of four children of K. Gopinathan Pillai, the owner of Lakshmi Films in Kollam, and Jnanalakshmi.

Suresh Gopi’s transition from a film star to politics is fascinating, having begun his political life through the SFI (Students’ Federation of India).

Although he was defeated in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections from Thrissur twice, Suresh Gopi finally achieved victory on his third attempt.

Suresh Gopi’s acting career started in 1965 as a child artist in the film “Odayil Ninnu” directed by K.S. Sethumadhavan. He gradually climbed to fame through minor roles. His association with the Shaji Kailas-Renji Panicker duo significantly elevated his status as a lead actor.

Gopi gained prominence as a leading actor through Shaji Kailas’s film “Thalasthanam.” Following the success of movies like “Manichitrathazhu,” “Commissioner,” “Lelam,” and “Pathram,” he never had to look back.

For his performance in “Kaliyattam,” Suresh Gopi received both the National Film Award and the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor.

During his college years at Fatima Mata National College in Kollam, Suresh Gopi was an active member of the SFI. He graduated with a degree in Zoology and a postgraduate degree in English Literature. Subsequently, he was drawn to the Congress party.

In the 2006 Assembly elections, Suresh Gopi campaigned for both LDF and UDF candidates, supporting V.S. Achuthanandan in Malampuzha and UDF candidate M.P. Gangadharan in Ponnani.

In April 2016, the President appointed Suresh Gopi as a Rajya Sabha member. In October 2016, he joined the BJP and contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Thrissur as a BJP candidate but had to settle for third place. He also came in third in the 2021 Assembly elections from Thrissur.

However, this year, Suresh Gopi was elected to the Lok Sabha with a majority of over seventy thousand seats.

Suresh Gopi is married to Radhika Nair. They have five children, including actor Gokul Suresh and their late daughter Lakshmi Suresh.

Suresh Gopi took the oath of office as a Deputy Minister in the third Modi cabinet, marking his 51st oath-taking. His victory in Thrissur, a strong triangular contest, was a stunning win for the BJP, with a majority of 74,686 votes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Thrissur constituency three times. Modi attended a women’s conference that doubled as Suresh Gopi’s election campaign launch. Within 14 days, the Prime Minister returned to attend the wedding of Suresh Gopi’s daughter. The close relationship with Modi fueled the campaign that paved the way for Suresh Gopi’s entry into the Union Cabinet. Consequently, the campaign slogan for Thrissur having a Union Minister gained traction.

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