ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Nagercoil By-Election, January 1969-A Study of the Congress Campaign

The Nagercoil By-Election, January 1969 A Study of the Congress Campaign changed its name to the Travancore Tamilnad Congress [TTC] had established its hold on both the elite and the masses of Kanyakumari, and agitated for some kind of autonomy for the Tamil areas.7 The relationship of the TTC and the Indian National Congress was an uneasy one. Most of the top Congress leaders distrusted the TTC and other local separatist movements which claimed to belong within the Congress fold. It is notable, however, that Kamaraj, who was in effective control of the Tamil Nad Congress Committee from 1940 onwards, was sympathetic to the TTC.8 SERIES OF AGITATIONS In the 1948 elections to the Travancore Assembly, four nominees of the TTC were elected from Kanyakumari.9 These four joined the opposition to the Congress Government under their leader, Nesamony, who was President of the TTC from 1948-52.10 It was thus shown quite clearly that the TTC was not just a group within Congress, and was unwilling to accept Congress discipline if this was felt to conflict with the interests of the Tamilians in Travancore, Twelve TTC members were elected in 1954 in spite of the fact that Nehru campaigned in favour of the official Congress and described the TTC as a 'dummy'.11 It soon became obvious that constitutional methods would not achieve the objects of the TTC, and a long series of agitations for separation from Travancore was started.

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