Two Italian marines were held for shooting two Indian fishermen off Kerala's coast in February. Legal and diplomatic issues made headlines throughout 2012. Though Italy launched a diplomatic offensive against the arrest arguing that the incident took place in international waters, the state and central governments rejected that. After spending a few months in remand in Kochi, the marines are now on bail in Kochi.
Kerala's presence in the central ministry rose to an all-time high of 8 with the induction of Shashi Tharoor and Kodikunnil Suresh in the council of ministers in the reshuffle in October.
The brutal murder of an ex-Marxist T P Chandrasekharan shook the entire state putting main Opposition CPI-M on the defensive as several of its local functionaries figured as accused in the case.
With monsoon rains falling far short of the normal, the year turned out to be a hard one for Kerala and harder days are in store due to a grim power crunch and drought-like situation.
The CPI-M suffered a severe blow when its MLA R Selvaraj from Neyyattinkara quit and resigned his assembly membership. Selvaraj later joined the Congress and retained his seat in a keenly fought by-election.
M M Mani's startling revelation that the party in 1980s drew up a list of foes to be eliminated and executed three on the hit list. After Mani's speech caused widespread revulsion, the party removed him as secretary of Idukki district. Mani was later arrested and remanded.
Entering its second year in office, the Oommen Chandy government focused much of its attention during the year on projecting Kerala as an ideal investment destination through the 'Emerging Kerala' investment summit held in Kochi. The government's critics dubbed it as a failed initiative.
Touted as Kerala's dream project, Kochi metro rail had been butt of wordy duel for most part of the year, mostly centring the role designated for eminent technocrat E Sreedharan, the architect of Delhi Metro.
Kochi played host to Kochi Muziris Biennalle, the state's biggest ever painting, art and cultural extravaganza.
On the eve of festival Onam, an LPG tanker exploded at Chalai in Kannur leading to the death of 20 people.
Two senior Catholic bishops - Mar Goerge Alanchery of Syro Malabar and Mar Beselios Cleemis of Syro Malanakra hierarchies - were elevated as Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI during the year.
Kerala lost an intellectual and left ideologist in the death of P Govinda Pillai. Malayalam cinema lost Thilakan. The state was also grieved at the death of actors P K Venukuttan Nair and Jagannathan, who made their presence prominent on stage and silver screen. PTI.