The Government and politics of Kerala is part of the largest democracy in the world, India.
India, is a place of contrasts. One of the powerful countries in the world, it has some of the poorest too. It sends rockets to mars, but struggles to uplift its poor. Whatever the shortcomings may be, there is one thing that keep India in a league of its own – it is the largest democracy in the world.
India has dual polity system. It means there is government at federal and state level. India has democratically elected local bodies too.
In India, the Federal Government is called Central Government. It looks after major issues such as defence, civil aviation, foreign affairs etc.
State governments are responsible for running the state. Police, electricity, water, most roads, education, agriculture, tourism, sports etc are governed by the state. India has 29 states.
Local Governments look after local issues. In a country like India, with a billion people, decentralisation is the only viable way to go forward.
There are plenty of areas that need coordination and joined
effort, whether is promoting tourism or combatting terrorism.
In Kerala, there are two main political parties and several smaller ones. Congress and Marxist party (CPM) are the two major players. CPI, Kerala Congress, Muslim League and BJP are some of the smaller parties. There are other fragment parties as well.
Congress leads a coalition called United Democratic Front or UDF to be short. Members in it are Muslim League, Kerala Congress and a few smaller parties.
CPM together with CPI is the Left Democratic Front (LDF). There are a few smaller parties in LDF as well.
Kerala was the first place in the world where Marxist party came to power through ballot. That was in 1957 when the state was formed and first elections were held.
Elections happens once in 5 years. Currently LDF is in power. Pinarai Vijayan of CPM is the Chief Minister.
In Kerala, the trend has been that the ruling party usually
fails in the next election. So, no one is in power more than five years.
Currently, Ummen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala are the main
leaders of Congress. V.S Achuthanandan, Pinarai Vijayan and Kodiyeri
Balakrishnan are CPM leaders.
There are 144 state constituencies in Kerala. The representative is called MLA. There are 20 Federal constituencies. Representatives to Indian Parliament is called MP.
The head of the state is the Governor. That is a nominal role. The Chief Minister with the council of Ministers runs the affairs of the state.
CM and Ministers reside at Trivandrum, the state capital. Secretariat
Building that holds the state Parliament is also the seat of various ministries.
Ministers, Chief Secretary, department secretaries and top tier officers have
their offices here. A beehive of activity, it is the nerve centre of Kerala politics.
The district rule is held under the District Collector. There are 14 districts in Kerala.
To facilitate decentralisation, there are local governing bodies. Village panchayaths and Block Panchayaths are lowest two tiers of government. Towns are ruled by Municipal Councils and cities by Municipal Corporations.