Centre-state Relations: A Kerala Experience

Centre-state Relations: A Kerala Experience

Immediately after the formation of the state of Kerala, general election was held to the Kerala State Legislative Assembly. In this election, the communists came to power in Kerala. This was the first instance of the formation of a government through ballot by the communists in Asiatic region.

The congress party was in power in Centre and in all other states when Kerala became the lone communist state. Thus, the co-operative federal experience of India gave way to competitive federalism. Since then, the congress party had been looking for an opportunity to dismantle the first communist ministry in Kerala. This opportunity was provided with the introduction of educational and agrarian reforms by the communist government to wipe out inequalities existing in these two sectors. The educational reforms attracted the ire of the Catholic community while the agrarian reforms that of the Nair community since the former managed the largest number of schools while the latter formed the main landowning community. Thus, these two path breaking reforms made two most influential communities in Kerala against the government. The congress party made better use of the situation with the support of the Central government and joined the liberation struggle started by the Nair Service Society, a local organization of Nair community, in collaboration with the Catholic congress representing Catholic community to topple the government. The liberation struggle was blessed by the congress government at Centre with the dismissal of the ministry which was unconstitutional from any angle. It was found the dismissal of the first Communist ministry in Kerala was unconstitutional from any angle.

ISSN: 2036-5438
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