History of Kerala Legislature

When we look back to the history of Indian Legislative set up, we find several things to feel proud of, as we were the ‘first’ in many a political experiment. Among the Princely States in the country, it was in the erstwhile state of Travancore that the first Legislative Council was constituted in 1888 with six official and two non-official members. In 1898 it was decided that the number of members might be raised from eight to 15 of which two fifth should be non-official members. But the ideal of “election” in its literal sense was not accepted even in principle. Similar legislative reforms took place in 1920 and 1922.

Abstention Movement

During the regime of Sri. Chitra Thirunal, who was enthroned in 1932, there were some radical reforms in this field. The Legislative Council was divided into Sreemoolam Assembly and Sri Chitra State Council. In protest against the inadequacy of the Constitutional reforms of 1932, the Nivartana (abstention) movement was started, as the Ezhavas, the Christians and the Muslims who constituted 70 per cent of the population, apprehended that the new reforms, owing to the provisions for restricted franchise on the basis of the area of possession of property and other qualifications, would secure for them only a few number of seats in the enlarged legislature than the Nayars. They demanded apportioning of the seats on the basis of population. When the Government turned a deaf ear to the voice of protest, they organized a Joint Political Congress and exhorted the voters to abstain from voting. The Government at last conceded their demands to a certain extent by introducing communal reservation in appointments to the public service.

The Haripura Session of the Indian National Congress in 1938 had resolved that the party should keep itself aloof from involvement in the affairs of the princely states. This paved the way for the formation of the Travancore State Congress and Cochin State Congress the same year. The peasant and labour movements of the 1930s were responsible for the emergence of a let wing in politics which ultimately resulted in the birth of the Congress Socialist Party. The radical section of the Nationalist Muslims in Malabar lent full support to the leftists. And very soon the Kerala Provincial Congress Committee came to be dominated by them.

In 1925 at 45 member legislature came into being in Cochin of which 30 were elected members. The creation of the post of a minister responsible to the legislature, and entrusting him with the charge of all the departments related to rural development was the next step forward in 1930 when a diarchical form of Government was established. In the 50 member legislative council, 38 were elected members. The Cochin Congress and the Cochin State Congress were the main contestants. The Cochin congress secured 13 seats, the Cochin State Congress 12 and Independents and the Progressive Party 13. The Cochin Congress and with the support of some independents came to power on June 17, 1938. Ambattu Sivarama Menon was appointed Minister for Rural Development. This earned for Cochin the distinction of being the first state among the princely states to usher tnaministerial Government. Sivarama Menon died on August 30 and he was followed by Dr. A.R. Menon. And with the passage of a non-confidence motion on February 25, 1942, he was forced to resign. Shri. T.K. Nair of Cochin congress assumed charge of the ministerial office. Since the Second World War was on, the Maharaja extended the term of the Council and as such he could continue in the office till July 11, 1945.

On January 26, 1941 a new political called Cochin Rajya Prajamandalam was constituted with Sri. V.R. Krishnan Ezhuthachan as its President. In the elections held in 1945, the Prajamandalam could win 12 seats out of the total 19 seats, but it did not claim the ministership. Therefore the Maharaja appointed Shri Parambi Lonappan, Leader of the Nationalis-Group, the Minster for Rural Development. Shri Balakrishna Menon also joined the ministry later. Following the passage of a no-confidence motion, they had to resign. Though the Prajamandalam was invited to forma ministry they rejected the officer. Thus again the political affairs reached a crisis. On August 17, 1946 he Maharaja declared that all portfolios except law and order and finance would be given to the popular ministers. Thus a 4 member ministry assumed office on September 9, 1946. Sahodaran Ayyappan, T.K. Nair, Panampilli Govinda Menon and C.R. Iyyunni were the members of the Cabinet. Later a 3 member ministry under the leadership of Panampilli Govinda Menon came to power and then the Home Portfolio also was handed over to the ministry. When Home Minister, T.K. Nair used the police force to put down labour struggles and popular agitations, Panampilli, C.R. Iyyunni and Sahodaran Ayyappan resigned from the Cabinet. No longer did the Maharaja dismiss the Council, than he announced that elections with adult franchise would be held in October 1948. In the elections, the Prajamandalam secured overwhelming majority and Ikkanda Warrier was elected leader of the party. Panampilli Govinda Menon, Sahodaran Ayyappan and C.A. Ouseph were his colleagues in the cabinet. On July 1, 1949 the integration of Cochin and Travancore took place. The members of the Cochin legislative council became M.L.As of Travancore-Cochin legislature. In the Travancore-Cochin state a nine member ministry was formed including the four ministers of Cochin, with Shri T.K. Narayana Pillai as the leader.

The end of the Quit India Movement saw Malabar returning to elections and Constitutional Government. Administratively Malabar was district of Madras Province at the time of Independence. The Malabar district had also representation in Madras cabinets. And among the ministers from Malabar were Shri Kozhipurathu Madhava Menon, Shri. C.J. Varkey, Shri A. Raghava Menon, Shri Kongathil Raman Menon (all Congress) and Shri. R.M. Palat (Justice Party).

The Travancore State Congress launched a campaign seeking dismissal of the Dewan, Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, on the basis of certain allegations. But the party was forced to withdraw the charges on Gandhiji’s intervention. This created a split in Congress. The members of the Youth League left the State Congress to form the Communist party.

Travancore, however, was not destined to have a peaceful transition to freedom and democracy. In the last week of October 1946, (October 24 to 27)
the State saw the most violent upheavals, the Punnappra – Vayalar revolt of the working class, an armed revolt by the poor with a view to ending the police raj
under the Dewan. Even after the attainment of freedom the Dewan declared on June11, 1947 that Travancore would remain an ‘Independent State’ on the lapse of British paramountancy. When he let loose repression, an unsuccessful attempt on
his life was made on July 25, 1947. And forced by the new developments he left Travancore on August 19, 1947.        

First Election After Independence

On September 4, 1947 the Maharaja of Travancore issued a declaration to elect Constituent Assembly in Travancore as a prelude to the introduction of adult franchise. The first election was held in February 1948. Out of the total 120 seats, the Indian National Congress contested 112 and won 97 seats. The Muslim League secured eight, Tamil Nadu Congress 14 and independent one. Though the Communist Party contested 17 seats and the K.S.P. eight, they could not win a single seat. On March 20, 1948 the Travancore Constituent Assembly came into being, the first of its kind formed on the basis of adult franchise in the country. It started functioning under the presidentship of late Shri A.J. John. But as per a declaration of the Raja on March 24, it began to function also a Legislative Assembly. An interim three member Ministry was formed with late Shri Pattom A Thanu Pillai as Prime Minister. The late Shri. C. Kesavan and Shri T.M. Varghese were the other two members of this first popular ministry in Travancore. As a result of the internecine fueds within the Congress, a no-confidence motion was carried, and the Pattom Ministry resigned on October 17, 1948. Then a seven member Ministry under the leadership of the late Shri T.K. Narayana Pillai came to power on 22nd October, 1948.

The movement for a United Kerala gathered momentum. Following the national policy of integration, the States of Travancore and Cochin were merged
into Travancore-Cochin state under the Raja of Travancore as the Raj Pramukh on
1st July 1949. A seven member cabinet was sworn in under the stewardship of
Shri T.K. Narayana Pillai on that day, the first ministry of the erstwhile T.C. State. Consequent on political troubles within the party the T.K. ministry had to resign
on February 24, 1951. Though the late Shri C. Kesavan formed a three member ministry all of a sudden, he tendered resignation of the leadership on 20th March
and was unanimously re-elected as leader. The ministry was expanded on September 6 by inducting four more members.

First General Election in the Republic

India became a Sovereign Democratic Republic on January 26, 1950.
Before the 1951-52 general elections, the Socialist Party was formed under the leadership of Shri Pattam Thanu Pillai, and the Democratic Congress Party came
into being with the late Shri Mannath Padmanabhan and Shri. R. Sankar as its leaders.

The first general election was held from December 10, 1951 to January 5, 1952 in the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin State. Out of the 108 seats, Congress got
44 seats (three uncontested), Socialist 11 (One uncontested), Communist 25, R.S.P. 6, Travancore Tamilnadu Congress 8, K.S.P. and Cochin party one each and Independents 12. (The Communist party was then banned in T.C.) On 12th March 1952 a six member ministry was sworn-in with Shri A.J. John as Chief Minister. Later a representative of the T.T.N.C. was also inducted into the cabinet following the alliance made with that party by the Congress. As a result of the disagreement between the Congress and T.T.N.C. which demanded a separate Congress organization for Tamils, a confidence motion tabled by the ruling party on September 23, 1953 fell through. The Assembly was dissolved and the ministry continued
as care-taker Government till the next elections.

The second election to the T.C. Assembly was held in February 1954. Following delimitation, the number of seats rose to 118. When the results were announced the party position was as follows: INC-45, T.T.N.C-12, P.S.P.-19, Communist-23, R.S.P.-9, K.S.P.-3, Independents-6 and an Anglo-Indian member. Though there was an electoral understanding between the Congress and the P.S.P. the latter refused to support the Congress in forming a ministry. Though unsuccessful, this was the first electoral alliance in India. In order to avert political uncertainty, the Congress extended support to the P.S.P. to form a cabinet. Thus a four-member cabinet of the P.S.P under its leader Shri Pattam Thanu Pillai came to power. When the Congress withdrew its support to the P.S.P. ministry, it had to resign. In the meantime, two P.S.P. legislators had joined the Congress. Thus with the support
of the T.T.N.C., Shri Panampilli Govinda Menon formed a five member cabinet-the fifth ministry in the T.C. State. That ministry also could not complete its term, and
the State came under President’s rule for the first time. Shri P.S. Rao was appointed Advisor to the Rajapramukh.

Birth of Kerala

Reorganisation of states on linguistic lines took place on the recomm-endations of the States’ Reorganisation Commission. Thus the long-cherished
dream of the Malayalees for a United Kerala came true on November 1, 1956. The entire Malabar District of Madras and the Kasargod Taluk of South Canara District were added to Kerala and the Tamil-speaking southern region of old Tranvancore State was annexed to the Madras State. The rule of Rajapramukh was ended and
Shri P.S. Rao was appointed Acting Governor of Kerala. On November 22, 1956
Dr. B. Ramakrishna Rao assumed the gubernatorial office in Kerala.

1957 General Elections

The first elections to the Kerala Assembly were held from February 28 to March 11, 1957. Out of the total 126 seats, 11 seats were reserved for scheduled castes and one for scheduled tribes. The number of constituencies was 114, of which twelve were two-member ones. The electors numbered 7,514,626 and the total number of valid votes polled as 5,837,577. The Communist Party of India emerged
as the largest single party in the Assembly with 60 seats. It was for the first time in
the history of the world that the Communist party came to power through ballot.
Five of the Independent candidates returned to the House had the support of the Communist Party in the elections and they, therefore, joined the communist Legislature party. The first popular ministry of Kerala headed by Shri E.M.S. Namboodiripad, leader of the Communist Party, was sworn in on 5th April 1957. This Government did not last long. An agitation known as ‘liberation struggle’ was launched by the Congress-led opposition and the president issued on 31st July 1959
a proclamation under article 356 of the Constitution dissolving the Assembly and introducing President’s rule in the State.

1960 Elections

Elections were held on 1st February 1960, for the first time, the polling throughout the state was held on a single day.

There was an electoral alliance between the Congress, the P.S.P. and the Muslim League. They fielded 125 candidates and supported an independent sponsored by the Congress. The communist Party fielded 108 party candidates
and supported 16 Independents. There were 102 single-member and 12 double member constituencies. In 63 single-member constituencies and seven two-member constituencies and seven two-member constituencies there were straight fights
with only two candidates for each seat, though other parties such as the B.J.S.,
the R.S.P. and the Socialist (Lohia) party also were in the fray. Of the 8,038,268 electors (votes: 9,601.601), the valid votes numbered 8,104,077. The results of the elections were as follows: Congress-63, PSP-20, Muslim League-11, CPI-29 and Independents-3 (including one for R.S.P. and one for United Karnataka Samithi).
Shri Pattam A Thanu Pillai of the P.S.P. took over on February, 22 as the coalition Chief Minister leading a council of eleven ministers. Shri. R. Sankar of the Congress was designated as Deputy Chief Minister. The late Shri. Seethi Shib of Muslim League was elected Speaker, and following his demise Shri. C.H. Mohammed Koya assumed that office. Gradually differences of opinion arose between the Congress
and the Muslim League and the latter decided on November 9, 1961 to quit, the coalition. The next day Speaker Shri. C.H. Mohammed Koya tendered his resignation. Shri. Alexander Parambithara was elected Speaker and the Congress-PSP coalition ministry continued in power. Shri. Pattam A Thanu Pillai relinquished the reins of
power on September 25, 1962, consequent on his appointment as Governor of
the Punjab. Shri. R. Sankar took over as Chief Minister the next day. On October 10, 1962 the two remaining P.S.P. Ministers bowed out from the Ministry . Shri Sankar continued as Chief Minister for about two years. Following some differences of opinion with the Chief Minister, the Home Minister Shri. P.T. Chacko resigned
on 16th February 1964. A political crisis was precipitated in September 1964
which resulted in the formation of a dissident group in the Congress Legislature Party. This group consisting of 15 MLAs lent support to a no-confidence motion moved
by the P.S.P. leader Shri P.K. Kunju against the Sankar ministry on September 8. The motion was carried and the legislature dissolved leading to President’s rule for the third time in the state. And the dissidents formed a new party, Kerala Congress.

Abortive Elections of 1965

Elections were next held on 4th March 1965. The system of single and
double member constituencies had been given up in 1962. A fresh delimitation of
the constituencies increased their number to 133. The INC. alone fought the elections in all seats without any alliance. In the meantime the Communist party had been
split into two, viz. the CPI and the CPI (M). The CPI had electoral understanding
with the S.S.P. and the Muslim League. The CPI. was in alliance with the R.S.P. which had an understanding with the Kerala Congress. The INC won 36 seats, the CPM-40, the S. S. P.-13, the ML-6, the CPI-3, the Kerala Congress-23 and Independents 12. As the final post-election picture emerged, no single party
could form a ministry commanding majority. Thus the 1965 elections became abortive. Once again on March 25 President’s rule was invoked for the fourth time.

1967 Elections

Kerala next went to the polls two years later along with the March 1967 General elections. A new polarization of political forces had taken place leading
to new electoral alliances. Politically the most potent factor was the new United
Front of the CPI (M), the CPI, the ML, the RSP the Samyuktha Socialist Party,
the karshaka Thozhilali Party and the Kerala Socialist party. Then the INC faced
the elections single-handedly. The Kerala Congress was reported to have had electoral understanding with the Swatantra Party and the DMK. The Seven-party CPI (M)
led United Front won a decisive victory at the hustings. It could win a convicting majority in the Assembly. The second Namboodiripad ministry was thus formed
on 6th March 1967. The Cabinet consisted of four members of the CPI (M) two each of the CPI, the ML and the SSP and one each of the RSP, the KTP and the KSP. This ministry soon ran into rough weather and Chief Minister Shri Namboodiripad resigned on October 24 1969.

As distinct from the previous ministerial crises, the fall of the second Namboodiripad ministry left the legislature intact. A fresh alignment of political forces within the Assembly led to the formation of an eight-member cabinet
headed by Shri. C. Achutha Menon of the CPI on 1st November 1969. The ruling alliance consisted of the CPI, the ISP, the ML, the RSP and the Kerala Congress.
For the first time in the legislative history of the State, the cabinet was led by a personality who was not a sitting member of the Assembly, but a member of the Rajya Sabha. In a by-election held on April 21, 1970 Shri. Menon was returned to
the Assembly from Kottarakkara. In the meantime a split occurred in the ISP
and three members of the party joined the PSP. In order to avert a political crisis
Shri. C. Achutha Menon recommended the dissolution of the Assembly on June 26. He tendered the resignation of the Cabinet on August 1, 1970. The State was forthwith placed under President’s rule for the fifth time.

Assembly Elections in 1970

Elections were next held on 17th September 1970. The allies of the ruling
front now included the INC, the CPI, the RSP, the ML and the PSP. It secured 79 seats. Shri C. Achutha Menon formed his second ministry on October 4, 1970.
The INC and the KC which were allied of the ruling combine did not join the ministry at first, but extended support from without. The Cabinet was expanded on two occasions, when the INC joined it is September 1971, and to induct the nominees of the Kerala Congress in December 1975. The fourth Kerala Legislative Assembly
had the distinction of being the first Assembly in the State to complete its normal Constitutional term. Moreover, the normal term of the Assembly which expired
on October 21, 1975 was extended on three occasions over six month periods during the Emergency.

1977 Elections

A fresh delimitation of Assembly Constituencies was effected in 1974. As a result, on the eve of March 1977 elections, Kerala had, as at present, 140 Assembly seats. The electorate had gone up to 11,460,901 as against 10,169,467 in 1970. Female voters slightly outnumbered their male counter-parts. As in the previous election the main contestants were the ruling front and the opposition front. The former represented an alliance of five recognized political parties viz., the Congress, the CPI, the ML, the RSP, the KC and the unrecognized political party of P.S.P.
This combine was supported by the National Democratic Party (NDP), a newly-formed political projection of the Nair Service Society. The ruling front fielded
130 candidates of recognized political parties such as the CPM, the BLD (Janata),
the ML (Opposition) and the Kerala Congress (Pillai group). (Splits occurred in
the ML and the KC before1977 elections). The unrecognized political parties in
the front were: the Congress Radical, the KSP and the National R.S.P. It was the general election after the withdrawal of Emergency imposed on June 26, 1975. Despite the polarization, straight fights were confined to only 33 constituencies. Elections were held on 19th March 1977. The total number of valid votes was 8,773,646. The ruling front secured 111 seats as detailed below:

INC-38, CPI-23, KC-20, ML-13, RSP-9, NDP-5, and PSP-3. The Opposition got only 29 seats as follows: CPM-17, BLD-6, ML(O)-3, KC (PG) 2 and Independent-one.

A two-member ministry was formed with Shri K. Karunakaran of Congress
as Chief Minister on March 25, 1977. All the remaining thirteen ministers were
sworn in on April 11, 1977. However, Shri. Karunakaran had to resign on April 25, 1977, following certain references by the Kerala High Court in what came to be known as the Rajan case. Then under the leadership of Shri. A.K. Antony who as
not then an M.L.A., a 15 member ministry assumed office on April 27, 1977.
Shri. Antony was later elected from Kazhakuttom in a bye-election held on October 22, 1977. Shri. Antony himself resigned on October 27, 1978 in protest against the stand taken by the Congress on the Chikkamagalur bye-election in which Smt. Indira Gandhi was the candidate of the party. Shri. P.K. Vasudevan Nair of the CPI became the Chief Minister when the next ministry was sworn in on October 29, 1978, but his ministry also resigned on October 7, 1979 in order to create an atmosphere conducive to the formation of a Left Democratic Front in Kerala. Shri. C.H. Mohammed Koya
of Muslim League assumed office on October 12, 1979, but the four-member ministry was forced to resign on December 1, 1979. The Assembly was dissolved and President’s rule was invoked in Kerala for the sixth time and it continued upto
24th January 1980.

Assembly Polls - 1980

The Congress had in the meantime split into two – the INC (1) and the
INC (U). The Kerala Congress also followed suit, the splinter groups being the
KC (M) and the KC (J). The ML (O) assumed the name AIML. When the January 1980 polls were looming large on the horizon, political alignments in the State
had undergone a sea-change involving a drastic regrouping of major political
parties. The stage was set for the eventual emergence of two political combines – the United Democratic Front (UDF) consisting of the INC (I), the IUML, the KC (J),
the PSP, the NDP and the Socialist Republican Party (SRP – a new political organization of the SNDP), and the Left Democratic Front comprising, the CPM,
the CPI, the INC (U), the KC (M), the KC (PG), the AIML and the RSP. The UDF had worked out seat adjustments with the Janatha Party in a number of constituencies, though they were locked in battle in some others.

Kerala’s total electorate in 1980 was 13,266,064. The elections were held on
3rd and 6th January. There were 9,286,699 valid votes. The results of the elections were announced on 22-1-1980. The LDF won 93 seats and 4,832,481 votes. The
party position was as follows: CPM-35, INC (U)-21 (plus one nominated member), CPI-17, KC (M)-8, KC (PG)-1 [later joined the KC (M)], RSP-6 and AIML-5.
The UDF secured 46 seats and 4,426,669 votes. The front consisted of INC (I)-17, IUML-14, KC (J)-6, Janata-5, NDP-3 and PSP-one. The lone Independent candidate supported the LDF while it was in power. Shri. E.K. Nayanar of CPM, headed a 17 member ministry which was sworn in on 25th January 1980, revoking President’s rule.

Despite the thumping majority for the LDF in the Assembly difference
of opinion among the ruling partners culminated in the withdrawal of support, of
16th October 1981, to the ministry by the Congress (U). The ministry had then the majority of one member excluding the Speaker. And the ministry resigned on 20th October 1981, When the 8 member KC (M) withdrew its support to the Government. The Chief Minister tendered resignation and the next day the President took over
the administration for the seventh time, placing the sixth Kerala Assembly in suspended animation.

Again a political realignment took place. The Congress (S) and the KC (M) joined the UDF. An eight-member UDF Ministry was sworn in on December 28, 1981 with Shri. K. Karunakaran of Congress (I) as Chief Minister. It was the twelth ministry in Kerala since the formation of the State on November 1, 1956. Troubles began to raise again. The Congress (S) split into two factions, 16 members joining
the Antony group [Congress (A)] and six remaining as members of the Chacko
group. Later a split occurred in the Janata part also. Three members of the five-member party lent support to the ministry. Thus the Government had then the lead
of a single member who was the Speaker. On 15th March 1982 Shri Lonappan Nambadan of KC (M) withdrew his support to the ministry and consequently the Karunakaran ministry resigned on March 17. The Assembly was dissolved on the advice of the outgoing Chief Minister and again the State fell under president’s
rule for the eighth time.

1982 Elections

The political alliances had undergone a further change when the Congress (A), the KC (M) and the Janata (G) jointed the UDF. The two political fronts emerged in the 1982 electoral arena were the UDF and the LDF. The UDF included seven parties viz., the INC (I), the IUML, the KC (M) the KC (J), the NDP, the SRP, the Janata (G), the RSP (S) and the NRSP. The DLP also declared support to the Front. The LDF comprised the CPM, the CPI, the Congress (S), the AIML, the RSP, the KC (S) – a party formed by Shri Lonappan Nambadan, the DSP and the Lok Dal. The Janata party had seat adjustments with the LDF. The number of political parties in Kerala now rose to 25 as against five in 1957.

On 19th May 1982 the electorate of Kerala marched to the polling booth to elect their representatives to the Kerala Assembly for the eighth time. The size of the electorate came down to 13,117,012 from 13,266,064 in 1980. Besides the 280 candidates put up by the two major fronts, the BJP fielded 68 candidates. Out of the 9,640,774 votes polled, 9,573,590 were valid.

The results of the elections were announced on May 20. The UDF won 77 seats, but its effective strength was 76, as Shri Karunakaran was elected from
two constituencies. The UDF secured 4,617,498 votes which formed 48.25 per cent
of the valid votes. The INC (I) won 20 seats out of 35, the Congress (A) 15 out of 28, the ICUML 14 out of 18, the KG (M) 6 out of 17, the KC (J) 8 out of 12, the Janata (G) 4 out of 8, the NDP 4 out of 8, the SRP 2 out of 6, the RSP (S) one out of 4, and the DLP, the PSP and the Independent one each out of one each. The LDF won 63 seats obtaining 4,523,228 votes which constituted 47.24 per cent of the total valid votes. The CPM got 26 seats out of 51, the CPI 13 out of 25m the congress (S) 7 out of 18, the AIML 4 out of 12, the Janata 4 out of 12, the RSP 4 out of 8, the KC (S) and DSP one each and the Independents three out of 11. Out of the eleven Independent candidates of the LDF, nine were fielded by the CPM, one by the
CPI and the remaining one with the combined support of the LDF partners. None of the BJP candidates were returned. They had secured 262,847 votes which formed 2.75 per cent of the valid votes.

The UDF ministry with Shri K. Karunakaran as its leader, assumed office on March 24, 1982. Out of the 19 Ministers, four belonged to the congress (I),
three each from the INC (A) and the IUML, two each from the KC (M) and the KC (J) and one each from the SRP, the NDP, the PSP, the Janata and the RSP (S).

The merger of the INC (I) and the INC (A) and of two factions of the Muslim League were the most important events during the regime of the UDF ministry. A faction of the IC (S) joined the INC. Though the merger of the two factions of the Kerala Congress took place, a split again occurred before the time of filing nominations to the 1987 elections. There were splits in the NDP, SRP and the PSP. In spite of those crises, this was the second ministry in Kerala which could complete the full term of office.

1987 Assembly Elections

The ninth elections to the eighth Kerala Assembly were held on 23rd March, 1987. The UDF and the LDF were, as usual, the two major political fronts. The
UDF included the INC (I) the IUML, the KC (J), the KC (M), the NDP (P), the SRP (S) and the RSP (S). The LDF comprised the CPI (M) the CPI, the RSP, the IC (S), the Janata and the Lok Dal. And the third front consists of the BJP and the Hindu Munnani. The NDP(P), the SRP (V), the ILP, the AIFB, the SUCI, the CMP, the Socialist, the KSP and some non-political organizations had also fielded their candidates. A record number (764) of independent candidates was also in the fray.

Out of the 140 elective seats in the Assembly, 13 were reserved for the SC
and one for the ST. The electorate had increased from 13,117,012 in 1982 to 15,948,137 in 1987. Female voters outnumbered the male.

Though the elections in all the 140 constituencies were announced the elections to two seats Vamanapuram and Kottayam – were countermanded following the demise of two independent candidates. While the election to the 138 constituencies were held on 23rd March, the polling took place in the other two constituencies on 2nd June 1987. There were 1253 candidates at the hustings. The female candidates numbered 35 as against 15 in 1982.

The party-wise allocation of seats by the LDF was as follows: -

CPM–70; CPM Independents-nine; CPI-25; CPI Independent-one, IC(S)-14; Janata-12; Lok Dal-2; RSP-7. The political alignment pattern of the UDF was:-
INC-76; ML-23; KC(J)-13, KC(M)-10; NDP(P)-9; SRP(S)-4; RSP(S)-one and Independent-two. The Kerala Congress (J) and the Muslim League had given the Taliparamba and Azhikode seats respectively to the CMP with which they had electoral understanding. Thus the UDF had actually contested only 138 seats. The BJP-HM Front fielded 127 candidates. Some of the Hindu Munnani candidates contested under the approved symbol of the BJP. The CMP fielded 84 candidates. And in the fray were 764 independent candidates.

Of the 15,948,137 voters, 12,864,620 persons exercised their franchise
which constitute 80.55 per cent of the total electorate. Invalid votes numbered 91,945. Thus the total number of valid votes came to 12,754,675 as against 9,573,590 in 1982.

The result of the elections to 138 seats were announced on March 24, 1987. The results of the other two seats, where elections were held on June 2, 1987, were announced on 3rd June. The LDF secured 78 seats ensuring a decisive majority in
the House. The LDF secured 5,735,402 votes which form 44.97 per cent of the total valid votes. In 1982 they had got 4,523,288 votes, which constituted 47.24 per cent
of the total valid votes. In the 1987 elections the CPM won 38 seats out of 70, the CPM Independents four out of nine, the CPI 16 out of 25 the CPI independent one
out of one, the IC(S) six out of fourteen, the Janata seven out of twelve, the RSP five out of seven, and the Lok Dal one out of two. The number of votes secured by the LDF partners and its percentage are as follows:-

CPM-2,912,999 (22.84); CPM Ind.-366,446 (2.87); CPI-1,029,409 (8.07);
CPI Ind.-43,970 (0.34), IC (S)-511,777 (4.01); Janata – 482,408 (3.78); RSP-310,004 (2.43); Lok Dal-78,389 (0.61).

In the 1987 elections the UDF secured 5,567,309 votes by contesting in 138 constituencies. (Two constituents of the UDF had given one seat each to the CMP).
It formed 43.65 per cent of the total valid votes. The INC got 33 seats out of 76, the IUML 15 out of 23, the KC (J) five out of 13, the KC (M) four out of 10, the NDP (P) one out of nine, the SRP (S) nil out of four, the RSP (S) nil out of one and the independents two out of two. The number of votes secured by the UDF constituents and percentage are as follows:- INC 3,164,259 (24.81); IUML 985,011 (7.72);
KC (J) 450,472 (3.53); KC (M) 425,348 (3.33); NDP (P) 823,851 (2.23); SRP (S) 154,450 (1.21); RSP (S) 29,895 (0.23) and independents 74,023 (0.58). The UDF
had secured an aggregate of 46,17,498 votes in 1982 which formed 48.23 per cent of the total valid votes.

The difference between the votes secured by the LDF and the UDF is 168,093.

The BJP-HM Front had fielded 127 candidates but, it could not win even
a single seat. It secured 825,607 votes which constituted 6.47 per cent of the total valid votes. The 84 candidates of the CMP bagged 141,360 votes in all which formed 1.11 per cent of the total valid votes.

One independent candidate was returned by the Ettumannoor constituency where he could secure 41,098 votes. The other 764 independents bagged 443,899 votes which formed 3.48 per cent of the total valid votes.

Though 35 women candidates were in the fray, only eight were returned to
the Assembly. Of the eight women members six are new faces.

In Trivandrum and Quilon districts the UDF could bag only one seat
each whereas in some Malabar districts like Palghat, it could win more seats. The UDF could improve its position in that area by getting elected to the Assembly 32 members from districts north of Trichur which have 53 constituencies. The LDF found its contingent from this section reduced to 21. The BJP-HM combine which fielded candidates in 127 constituencies could secure deposits in six places only. Their candidates finished second in three constituencies pushing out two LDF candidates in Manjeswar and Kasaragod and one UDF candidate in Trivandrum
East. Only five Independents were able to get back their deposits. Out of the 84 candidates of the newly formed CMP only two could secure their deposits. All
the thirteen candidates of the break-away NDP (G) and the seven nominees of the SRP (C) forfeited their deposits. Manjeswar is the only constituency where no candidate had to forfeit the deposits.

The SRP (S), the UDF ally, was wiped out in this election. The INC strength was reduced from 38 to 33, the IUML from 18 to 15, the Kerala Congress groups from 16 to nine and the NDP from four to one. The SRP, which drew a blank, had three members and the RSP (S) which had the same fate at the hustings had one member in the dissolved Assembly. The CPM which had only 26 members improved its position to 42 including four Independents of the party. CPI’s tally rose from
12 to 17, the Janata’s from four to seven and the RSP’s from four to five. The Congress (S) maintained its position at six. The CMP which had four members
could get only one seat.

A five member ministry with Sri. E.K. Nayanar as the Chief Minister
was sworn in on 26th march 1987. The remaining 14 members of the cabinet
assumed office on April 2, 1987. The first session of the House was held on 28th march, with Smt. Bhargavi Thankappan on the chair as Pro-tem Speaker.
Shri. Varkala Radhakrishnan was elected Speaker and Smt. Bhargavi Thankappan Deputy Speaker. Shri M.P. Veerendrakumar of the Janata party resigned his ministership on 4th April 1987 in order to induct Prof. N.M. Joseph, as the nominee
of the Janata Party in the Cabinet, who assumed office on 14th April, 1987.
Shri. T.K. Ramakrishnan was not a member of the House when he was appointed Minister for Co-operation. Later he was elected from the Kottayam constituency.
Shri Nicholas Rodrigues was nominated to the Assembly to represent the Anglo-Indian community.

Assembly elections 1991

Elections to the ninth Loksabha were held on 22nd November 1989 in Kerala. In this election the UDF and the LDF were, as usual the main contesting fronts. But the Kerala Congress led by Shri. P.J. Joseph left the UDF and the leader himself contested the election from the Muvattupuzha constituency against the official UDF candidate. This started the drift between UDF and the Kerala Congress. As naturally the LDF  encashed the situation in their favour and the doors were opened before the KC for an easy entry to the LDF. The allies of both the fronts remained the same except the inclusion of CMP to the  UDF and the entry of KC as LDF partner. The elections to the Loksabha and assembly were scheduled to be held on May 23rd. The nation had suffered a great Tragedy in the death of Shri. Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of the country at the  assassins hands on 21st May 1991. Consequently  the election commission of India postponed the election proceedings to 18th June. Of the 19657974 votes 14433354 exercised their franchise which constitute 73.46 precent of the electorate. The total number of valid votes came to 14186720.793 candidates were in  the fray out of this 489 deposits forfeited .

Having  won a majority the UDF formed its cabinet with Shri.K. Karunakaran as the Chief Minister on 24-6-1991. Later  the Chief Minister  had to leave for United States for medical treatment consequent on a road accident. A few communal issues flared up during his absence and there was a hue and cry for a change of leadership. Although Shri. Karunakaran retuned to the leadership, the clamour for change reached its crescendo with the ISRO spy scandal. This resulted in Shri. Karunakaran making an exit and Shri. A.K.Antony was sworn in as Chief  Minister on 22-3-1995. Prohibition was the major political plank proposed by Shri. A.K. Antony. This was also made main  issue  for the next general elections held on 27-4-1996.


General Election 1996

Changes in the internal political scenario of the Kerala Congress surfaced in the last phase of the UDF ministry, Shri. T.M. Jaocb parted with the KC (M) and contested the next elections separately within the UDF. SRP and NDP disappeared as political entities, with the 1996 general elections. L.D.F. formed its ministry on 20-5-1996 under the leadership of Shri. E.K. Nayanar who was not an elected member of the assembly at that time. Later he  was  elected from Thalassery Constituency. As a measure of strengthening the process of decentralisation of power the number of ministers was reduced and a 14 member cabinet was sworn in.


2001 Elections

Election to the 11th assembly was held on May 10 ,2001 in which UDF got 99 seats and the 11th Kerala Assembly was sworn in to power on the 17th of May 2001 with Shri.A.K.Antony as Chief Minister. The cabinet comprised of 20 ministers. Mr. Vakkom Purushothaman was elected as speaker. Shri. Sundaran Nadar sworn in as Deputy Speaker. Sri.A.K.Antony rendered the resignation of his cabinet on August 29,2004. A five-member ministry under the Chief Ministership of Sri. Oommen Chandy assumed charge of office on August 31, 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

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