When a constituency returned 2 members

Kerala Assembly had double-member constituencies in the maiden elections in 1957 and in 1960

The Kerala Assembly had double-member constituencies in the maiden elections held in 1957 after the reorganisation of States and later in 1960.

Under this, a single constituency returned two members, one from the Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribe category and another from the general category.

In the first elections to the Assembly held from February 28 to March 11, 1957 out of the 126 seats, 11 were reserved for Scheduled Castes and one for Scheduled Tribes. The number of constituencies was 114, of which 12 were two-member ones.

The Communist Party of India emerged as the largest single party in the Assembly with 60 seats. It was for the first time in the history of the world that a Communist party came to power through ballot.

The ministry headed by E.M.S. Namboodiripad, leader of the undivided Communist Party of India, was sworn in on April 5, 1957. EMS was elected from the Neeleswaram two-member constituency that had an electorate of 1,28,918. EMS got 38,090 and Kallalan (Scheduled Caste), also of the Communist Party of India, got 44,754 votes.

Besides Neeleswaram, Wayanad, Manjeri, Chittur, Ponnani, Wadakkanchery, Chalakudy, Devikulam, Kunnathur, Mavelikara, Thrikkadavur, Varkala, and Ulloor were the other double member constituencies.

The polling throughout the State was on a single day for the first time when elections were held on February 1, 1960. There were 102 single-member and 12 double-member constituencies. Pattom A. Thanu Pillai of the PSP took over on February 22 as the coalition chief minister leading a council of 11 ministers.

The two-member parliamentary and Assembly constituency system, aimed at giving adequate representation to SC/ST communities, was abolished in 1961. The Two Member Constituencies (Abolition) Act, 1961 paved the way for the creation of single-member constituencies.

Revival of the dual-member constituency system was mooted by the Bharatiya Stree Shakti (BSS) a few years go as an alternative to end the row over providing 33% reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies through legislation.

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