Kerala Lok Sabha Elections 2014
Kerala has a unicameral government with 141 members, where 140 are elected and one is nominated from the Anglo-Indian community of the state. The state represents 20 seats in the Lok Sabha, and nine seats in the Rajya Sabha. Politics in the state is dominated by two major political parties, the Indian National Congress (INC) led by the United Democratic Front (UDF), and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) led by the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, does not have a strong presence in the state.
In their manifesto, the people of Kerala have expressed a need for better healthcare, and the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), that criminalises homosexuality to be repealed.
Ruling Party and the Constitution
Though the Governor is the constitutional head of the state, the real executive powers lie in the hands of the Chief Minister and the Cabinet. The current Governor of Kerala is Sheila Dikshit, who was elected in March 2014, after her defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the December 2013 Delhi assembly elections. The incumbent Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, representing the UDF, has ruled the state since May 2011.
Since the formation of the state, Kerala has witnessed 13 legislatures. The first legislative assembly was formed on 5 April 1957 with 127 members. Subsequently, more districts were added to the state of Kerala, thereby the number of members going up to 141, including a nominated member. Though the state has come under the President's rule four times since its formation, the two major political parties i.e. the Congress and the Left continued to slug it out for the top post. The first Chief Minister of Kerala was CPI's EMS Namboodiripad. The incumbent Congress has governed the state for ten terms since its formation, with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy presiding over his second term. The last assembly elections held in 2011, saw a close contest between the two coalitions. The Congress-led UDF beat the LDF by a margin of just four seats. The UDF bagged 72 seats, while the LDF clinched a close 68. Oommen Chandy faced stiff competition from V S Achuthanandan, who governed the state from 2006 to 2011.
The upcoming polls will be the state's 16th Lok Sabha elections. The first general election in Kerala was held in 1951, in which INC came out victorious. The Left (CPI and CPM) dominated the state in the second, fourth and seventh Lok Sabha polls, held in 1957, 1967 and 1980, respectively. While, INC has been in majority in the state, either individually or in an alliance as the UDF, in 1962, 1971, 1977, 1984, 1989 and 1991. In the 2009 general elections, a total number of 1,59,94,420? valid votes were counted, which saw a landslide victory of the UDF, and it continues to be in power. The much-awaited Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to take place on 10 April 2014 in Kerala. As per the Election Commission of India, counting will take place on 16 May.
- Indian National Congress : The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) is a wing of the Indian National Congress in the state. Led by VM Sudheeran, the party leads the United Democratic Front (UDF) coalition in the state. The coalition was created in 1970s by late Congress veteran K Karunakaran. The UDF has governed the state with the support of other social and religious parties. The incumbent coalition in Kerala, the UDF includes the Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress, Socialist Janata (Democratic) Party, Kerala Congress (B), Revolutionary Socialist Party (Baby John), Kerala Congress (Jacob), Revolutionary Socialist Party and CMP.
- Communist Party of India (Marxist) :The CPI(M) leads the Left Democratic Front (LDF) coalition in the state. Led by V Achuthanandan, the LDF has been in power alternatively for the last two decades. Apart from the CPI(M), the LDF includes the CPI, Janata Dal (Secular), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Indian Congress (Socialist), Kerala Congress (Anti-merger Group) and two other independent supporters.
- Oommen Chandy: Representing the Congress party, Oommen Chandy is the incumbent Chief Minister of Kerala since May 2011. He was the Chief Minister from 2004 to 2006, before the LDF came into power in 2006, after which he was the Leader of the Opposition Party till 2011. Chandy kick-started his political journey at a very young age, where he joined the student wing of the party, Kerala Students Union. His passion for politics eventually made him the State President of the KSU. A lawyer by profession, Chandy is known for his innovative governance. However, his stint as a Chief Minister has been marred by the Palmolien import scam, which caused the state a loss of over Rs two crore, when he was the Finance Minister in the Karunakaran government in 1991-92.
- V S Achuthanandan: The Leader of Opposition (LDF) in Kerala, Achuthanandan is one of the founding members of the CPI(M) and has been an integral part in shaping the party's fortunes in Kerala. A member of the CPI(M) since 1940, Achuthanandan started his political journey at a very early age. He was the Chief Minister of Kerala from 2006-2011. Under his leadership, the state witnessed a lot of demolitions of illegal constructions, claiming back acres of illegally occupied land, and development in the Education Sector. He has also been a part of several controversies, with the most recent being that of alleged insensitive comments towards late Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who lost his life fighting terrorists, in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
As the nation eagerly waits for the 16th Lok Sabha elections, countless opinions are doing rounds. In the state of Kerala, opinion polls suggest a close contest between the LDF and the UDF. While, the Left may gain on its seats won, UDF might end up losing its winning seats, due to the entry of the AAP in the state. It is predicted to be a close fight between the opposing parties.
- The Kerala CEO Website
- The Kerala assembly Website
- The Election commission of India Website
No. of PCs : 20
No. of Polling Days : 1
Polling Dates : 10 April (Phase 3)
No. of Polling Stations : 21424
No. of Polling Station locations : 11895
Total Electors : 2,37,92,270 (as on 20th March 2014)
Electors in Age Group 18 to 25 years : 13.33%
Women Electors : 51.9%
Poll Expenditure Limit per Candidate : Rs.70 lakhs
Kerala Parliamentary Constituency Winners 2009
|PC No.||PC Name||Category||Winning Candidate||Gender||Party||Total Votes|
|1||Kasaragod||GEN||P Karunakaran||M||CPI (M)||385522|
|7||Ponnani||GEN||E.T. Muhammed Basheer||M||IUML||385801|
|8||Palakkad||GEN||M.B. Rajesh||M||CPI (M)||338070|
|9||Alathur||(SC)||P.K Biju||M||CPI (M)||387352|
|10||Thrissur||GEN||P C Chacko||M||INC||385297|
|12||Ernakulam||GEN||Prof. K V Thomas||M||INC||342845|
|13||Idukki||GEN||Adv. P.T Thomas||M||INC||408484|
|14||Kottayam||GEN||Jose K. Mani||M||Kerala Congress (M)||404962|
|17||Pathanamthitta||GEN||Anto Antony Punnathaniyil||M||INC||408232|
|19||Attingal||GEN||Adv. A Sampath||M||CPI (M)||328036|
||Parliamentary Constituencies in Kerala
Last Updated on : April 12, 2014
||Parliamentary Constituencies of India