Rosamma Punnoose, who was the first person to be sworn in as legislator soon after the first assembly polls in Kerala in 1957, passed away in the Sultanate of Oman Saturday morning, her family said. She was 100.
Incidentally, Punnoose was also the first pro-tem speaker of the Kerala assembly, as she had also administered the oath to other legislators at that time.
Punnoose was living with her son in Oman for the past two years.
Though she began her career with the Travancore State Congress in 1939, she joined the Communist Party of India in 1948. A law graduate, she returned to the Kerala assembly for the second time in 1987. She quit politics in 1998, when she stepped down as chairperson of the Kerala State Women’s Commission.
Her sister Accama Cherian was a popular freedom fighter who took on the British. Both sisters were jailed in 1939.
Rosamma Punnoose’s husband P.T. Punnoose was also a prominent Communist Party of India leader, elected from the Ambalapuzha Lok Sabha constituency to the second Lok Sabha in 1957.
Punnoose’s body will be brought to Kerala from Oman. The funeral will take place Monday at Thiruvalla, about 120 km from the state capital.
Punnoose celebrated her 100th birthday May 13 this year at Thiruvalla. Kerala assembly Speaker G. Karthikeyan visited her on her birthday to greet her.