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Kerala Congress (KEC)

Kerala Congress or Kerala Congress (J) Symbol

About Kerala Congress or Kerala Congress (J)

Kerala Congress, which existed from 1979-2010 under the leadership of P.J. Joseph, was a regional political party in the state of Kerala. The party, also informally called the Kerala Congress (J), operated on the ideology of Secular Democracy or uniting under
the banner of non-communal forces. Though initially, in alliance with the Left Democratic Front, the party after 2010 was in a visible alliance in the Indian National Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). The UDF is an alliance of political parties in Kerala, across all social and political groups and communities, forming the main political opposition to the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The UDF has formed the present government in the state of Kerala, after winning the Kerala Assembly elections in 2011.

The founder of the Kerala Congress was K.M. George, who after breaking away from the Indian National Congress, led a breakaway faction of the party, to form his own party in October 1964, naming it the 'Kerala Congress'.

The party, informally called the Kerala Congress (Joseph) stood for the rights and privileges of the peasants and farmers in the state of Kerala, in the midst of allegiance of the other political parties to the rich and 'high commands' of the state. Drawing its roots in the Congress in Travancore, the Kerala Congress was the only political party in the state which attempted to uphold its militant cry of protecting the interests of the working class, the agricultural peasants and farmers, notably from the Saint Thomas Christians and others. The primary support base of the Kerala Congress comes from the farming communities in the districts of Kerala, such as Ranni, Elanji, Puthupally, Pambadi, Kottayam, Kumili and many others.

The Kerala Congress has witnessed several splits within the party. The Election Commission has permitted the parent faction under P.J. Joseph to retain the original party name 'Kerala Congress'. Many alliances, mergers and splits have happened within the different factions of the Kerala Congress, which have remained short-lived.

The present Kerala Congress is a political merger of the parent Joseph faction and the Mani faction of the Kerala Congress, forming it the biggest political party in the UDF alliance, after the Indian National Congress in April, 2010. It operates under the name Kerala Congress (M).

Election Symbol and its Significance

The Election Symbol of the Kerala Congress, as approved by the Election Commission of India, was the “Bicycle”. This symbol usually drawn on a half white and half red flag, was significant as it represented the true spirit of the party. The ideology of the party, of standing up for the rights and privileges of the marginalized and oppressed sections of the society, is represented in this “bicycle” symbol. Through its allegiance to the secular, socialist, democratic principles of the Constitution of India, the Kerala Congress propagated the ideals of class struggle. The red flag is emblematic of the party's socialist and class struggle principles. Through its ideologies, in support with peasants' unions, the parent party addressed the issues of the farmers and peasants in Kerala. The election symbol signified the march of the party, towards overall progress and development of the various communities of the state. Like a bicycle which is a simple vehicle, used to reach a destination, the Kerala Congress ensured that it reaches its destination of achieving justice for the farmers, through protest and opposition to the elite sections and high commands of the society in the state, symbolic of the anti-capitalist and anti-globalization policies and schemes across India.

Leaders of the Kerala Congress

Since the Joseph faction of the Kerala Congress merged with the Mani faction, to unite under its name Kerala Congress (M), there are presently no national executives of the Kerala Congress. The working Kerala Congress (M) has a number of national representatives in the country presently. When existent, P.J. Joseph was the Chairperson of the Kerala Congress. He is presently a Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Kerala Congress (M), representing the Thodupuzha constituency. He is the Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and In-land Navigation in the present UDF government in Kerala.

Achievements of the Kerala Congress

As a regional political party, the Kerala Congress had a number of significant achievements when existent.
  • The Kerala Congress had under its banner a number of frontal organizations. Its student wing which had a domineering presence in many colleges in Kerala is called Kerala Student Congress (KSC). Its youth wing was called Kerala Youth Front (KYF). Its labour wing is called the Kerala Trade Union Congress (KTUC).
  • The Kerala Congress had implemented a number of developmental projects and financial agendas for the toiling masses of Kerala.

Contact Details of the Kerala Congress

The Headquarters of the Kerala Congress, when existed as a faction was:

State Committee Office, Near Star Theatre Junction, Kottayam South, Kerala
Last Updated on July 20, 2021