ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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KERALA- Communal Parties and Crisis of Coalition Politics

Coalition Politics PKG EVENTS with political, communal and sociological overtones have overtaken Kerala and the worst fears about certain major partners in the coalition set-up have come true. The Kerala Congress, which was formed primarily to project the interests of Christians of central Travancore, claims to represent the minority Christian community (20.6 per cent of the population). Christians form a little over 50 per cent of the population of the districts of Idukki and Kottayam and of certain talukas of Alleppey. The Kerala Congress has launched an anti-centre agitation on the main plank of the neglect of the state by the centre. Also it wants to merge as the defender of rich peasants and planters, usurious moneylenders, large urban property owners as well as traders and profiteers who resort to large-scale evasion of taxes. It may be remembered that it is the same leadership which had voted against the Congress ministry headed by R Shankar and brought about its downfall. These defectors constituted themselves into the Kerala Congress and as a minority community party it has joined one or the other majority parties (the Congress or the Communists) and has managed to be in power. It has got away with many concessions over the years. For a short period the Kerala Congress split itself into two wings which enabled one wing or the other to be in power always. This arrangement suited the church and enabled the powerful clergy to wield substantial political leverage irrespective of political changes in the state Recently with the formal merger of its two factions, this 'permanent minority party' seems to have adopted as its immediate goal emergence as a 'regional party' on the analogy of DMK in Tamil Nadu and Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh. Hence the loud complaints about the 'neglect' of and 'discrimination' against Kerala by the central government. It launched a 'rail roko' agitation and 'jeep jathas' against the centre on the issue of the fall in coconut prices.

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