The Movement for a United (Aikya) Kerala Page
The Movement for a United (Aikya) Kerala
The movement for a united (Aikya) Kerala gathered momentum with the attainment of independence. The first concrete step in this direction was taken on 1 July 1949. Following the national policy of integration, the State of Kochi and Travancore were merged into Travancore-Kochi State under a Rajpramukh. The next step came with the reorganization of States on a linguistic basis in the light of the report of the States Reorganization Commission. It was decided to add Malabar district and the Kasaragod taluk of south Canara district to Travancore-Kochi and to separate the Tamil-speaking southern region of old Travancore from Travancore-Kochi for inclusion in Madras State. On 1 November 1956, the new State of Kerala was formally inaugurated. The land of Parasurama thus regained its identity with the unity of the land of Bharatha.
When Kerala was formed, the State was under the President's rule. The new State went to the polls for the first time in March 1957. There were 126 Assembly and 16 Parliamentary seats. The Communist Party of India emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly with 60 seats. Shri E.M.S.Namboodiripad formed an 11-member ministry on 5 April 1957 with the support of some independents. Political agitation and unrest extending over several months, culminated in the taking over of the administration of the State and the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, under Article 356 of the Constitution, by the president of India on 31 July 1959. Mid-term elections followed in February next year. A three-party alliance comprising the Congress, the Praja Socialist Party and the Muslim League was returned to power. Shri Pattom A.Thanu Pillai (PSP) took over as the coalition Chief Minister, leading a council of eleven ministers in February 1960. Shri R.Sankar (Congress) was designated as the Deputy Chief Minister. Shri. Pattom A.Thanu Pillai however, resigned on 25 September 1962, consequent on a gubernatorial appointment and Shri.R.Sankar was appointed Chief Minister the next day. Shri.Sankar continued as Chief Minister for about two years.
A political crisis precipitated in September 1964, when about 15 Congress legislators lent their support to a no-confidence motion against the ministry. The motion was carried. The legislature was dissolved on 10 September and the State thereupon passed under President's rule. Elections were held in March 1965. A fresh delimitation of constituencies had taken place in between. There were 133 Assembly and 19 Parliamentary constituencies. The election proved abortive in the sense that no single party could form a ministry commanding majority support. Once again on 25th March, 1965, Kerala was put under President's administration.
The State went to the polls two years later at the time of the general elections in March 1967. A new polarization of political forces had emerged in the meantime, leading to new electoral alliances. Politically the most potent combination was the new united front of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the Muslim League, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Karshaka Thozhilali Party and the Kerala Socialist Party. This seven-party combine was voted to power leading to the formation of a ministry headed by Shri.E.M.S.Namboodiripad (CPI-M). The Cabinet consisted of four members of the Marxist Party, two each of the CPI, the Muslim League and the SSP and one each of the RSP, the KTP and the KSP. Shri.Namboodiripad's second ministry had a chequered tenure until one of the ministers of the original SSP constituent, who had inter alia left the party to join the newly formed Indian Socialist Party group, had to resign from the Cabinet to face a judicial enquiry. The ministers belonging to the C.P.I., the Muslim League, the RSP and the KSP tendered their resignation in October 1969. Shri Namboodiripad himself resigned on 24th October, 1969. As distinct from previous crises, the legislature was intact. A fresh alignment of forces within the Assembly initiated the formation of an eight-member cabinet headed by Shri.C.Achutha Menon (CPI) in November 1969. The ruling alliance consisted of the CPI, the KSP, the Muslim League, the R.S.P. and the Kerala Congress. The Assembly was dissolved on 26th June, 1970 on the advice of the Chief Minister who tendered the resignation of his council of ministers on 1st August 1970.
Elections were held in September, 1970. The partners of the ruling front now included the Indian National Congress, the CPI, the RSP, the Muslim League and the Praja Socialist Party and were returned with a considerable majority. Shri.C.Achutha Menon formed his second ministry on 4th October, 1970. The Indian National Congress supported the front Government without joining it. The Cabinet was expanded on two occasions, once when the Indian National Congress joined it in September 1971 and for the second time in December, 1975 to accommodate Kerala Congress nominees. The fourth Legislative Assembly was unique in many respects. It emerged as the first Assembly in the chequered post-independence history of the State, which completed its normal constitutional term. Moreover, the normal term of the Assembly was extended on three occasions - for a period of six months from 22nd October 1975, for a second period of six months from 22nd April 1976 and for yet another six months from 22nd October 1976.
Elections were then held in March 1977, the sixth to be held since the formation of the State. The ruling front, essentially a continuation of the previous alignment of forces, won a decisive majority. Cabinet leadership now passed on to Shri.K.Karunakaran of the Congress who formed a ministry on 25 March 1977. But this ministry was short-lived. Shri.Karunakaran tendered the resignation of his Cabinet on 25 April 1977 following certain reference by the Kerala High Court in what had been known as the Rajan case. Shri.A.K.Antony (Congress) became the next Chief Minister. However, in the wake of differences of opinion of the Congress Working Committee on the attitude of the Congress vis-a-vis parliamentary by-election at Chikmagalur in Karnataka, Shri Antony resigned his Chief Ministership on 27 October 1978. Shri.P.K.Vasudevan Nair (CPI) took over as Chief Minister on 29 October 1978. But his ministry also resigned on 7 October 1979 in order to create a favourable atmosphere for the formation of a Left Democratic Front in Kerala. Shri.C.H.Muhammad Koya was sworn-in as Chief Minister on 12 October 1979, but the four-member ministry could continue in office only for a short term. The ministry resigned on 1 December 1979 and the Assembly was dissolved. Again President's rule was invoked in Kerala up to 24th January 1980. Political alignment in Kerala had then undergone a sea change involving a drastic regrouping of major political parties.
Shri.A.K.Antony rendered the resignation of his cabinet on 29 August 2004. A five-member ministry under the chief ministership of Shri Oommen Chandy assumed charge of office on 31 August 2004. Shri.Therambil Ramakrishnan was elected as the Speaker.The ministry was further expanded to a 20-member cabinet. INC faced a split in 2005, a new party DIC (K) was formed under the leadership of veteran Congress leader K.Karunakaran on 1 May 2005. Election to the 12th Assembly was conducted in three phases on 22nd, 29th April and May 3rd. The LDF won with 98 seats. The 19-member LDF ministry was sworn into power on 18th May 2006 with Shri.V.S.Achuthanandan as the Chief Minister. Shri.K.Radhakrishnan was elected as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker Shri. Jose Baby. In the 140-member house, the LDF secured 98 seats, the UDF secured 41 seats and the DIC (K) secured one seat. The LDF got 48.63 percent of the votes poled and the UDF got 42.98 percent. The difference between the two fronts was 5.65 percentage points.
The 21st ministry headed by Shri. Oommen Chandy as Chief Minister was sworn in by His Excellency R.S.Gavai, Governor of Kerala on 23rd May 2011. The UDF lead ministry includes Shri. P. K. Abdu Rabb, Shri. Adoor Prakash, Shri. A. P. Anilkumar, Shri. Aryadan Mohammed, Shri. K. Babu, Shri. C. N. Balakrishnan, Shri. V. K. Ebrahim Kunju, Shri. K. B. Ganesh Kumar, Shri. T. M. Jacob, Kumari P. K. Jayalekshmi, Shri. K. C. Joseph, Shri. P. J. Joseph, Shri. P. K. Kunhalikutty, Shri. K. M. Mani, Shri. K. P. Mohanan, Dr. M. K. Muneer, Shri. Shibu Baby John, Shri. V .S. Sivakumar and Shri. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.
Source: IT Department, Government of Kerala