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Béla Kovács (20 April 1908 – 21 June 1959) was a politician who served as Minister of Agriculture from 1945 to 1946 and in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

He became involved in politics and joined the Smallholders Party (FKGP). The party drew most of its support from the peasants who formed more than 50 per cent of the country.

The Hungarian Communist Party became the largest single party in the elections in 1947 and served in the coalition People's Independence Front government. The communists gradually gained control of the government and by 1948 the Smallholders Party ceased to exist as an independent organization. Kovács was arrested and charged with plotting against the occupation forces. He was found guilty and sentenced life imprisonment in Siberia.

Mátyás Rákosi also demanded complete obedience from fellow members of the Hungarian Workers Party. When László Rajk, the foreign secretary, criticised attempts by Joseph Stalin to impose Stalinist policies on Hungary he was arrested and in September 1949 he was executed. János Kádár and other dissidents were also purged from the party during this period.

Kovács was released from prison in 1956. The Hungarian Uprising began on 23 October by a peaceful demonstration of students in Budapest. The students demanded an end to Soviet occupation and the implementation of "true socialism". The following day commissioned officers and soldiers joined the students on the streets of Budapest. Stalin's statue was brought down and the protesters chanted "Russians go home", "Away with Gerő" and "Long Live Nagy".

On 3 November, Nagy announced details of his coalition government (third Imre Nagy cabinet). It included Kovács, György Lukács, Anna Kéthly, Zoltán Tildy, Ferenc Farkas, Géza Losonczy, István B. Szabó, Gyula Kelemen, József Fischer, Pál Maléter, Zoltán Szántó and István Bibó. On 4 November 1956 Nikita Khrushchev sent the Red Army into Hungary and Nagy's government was overthrown.

Béla Kovács, who remained a member of parliament, died in 1959.

More information on the English [1] and Hungarian [2] Wikipedia pages.

For other persons of the same name see [3]

see also Béla Turi-Kovács