Assembly observes 60th anniversary of first sitting

Kerala Assembly holding commemorative sitting at old Asssembly Hall on April 27, 2017

Thiruvananthapuram, April 27, 2017: Kerala Assembly observed the 60th anniversary of the first full sitting of the First Kerala Assembly on Thursday with nostalgic memories.

The House held a commemorative sitting in the old Assembly Hall attached to the Secretariat where the Assembly had its sessions until June 28, 1998.

Technically, the first sitting of Kerala First Kerala Assembly had taken place on March 16, 1957 when the members were sworn in with pro temp Speaker Rosamma Punnoose in the chair. However, the House first met to transact regular business on April 27, 1957. This day is being observed as Legislature Day.

When the Assembly moved its sittings to the new legislature complex on June 29, the LDF was in power. Now also, the LDF is in power. However, only less that 20 of those who were members of the Tenth Assembly are members of the House now. For them, it was a go back into old times, and for the new members, an occasion to see how the House met in the relatively small old Assembly Hall where the Speaker, members, the Press and the visitors sat in proximity.

Speaking on the occasion, the Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan, said that the colonial face of police was yet to change and the administrative set up and the legislation needed for that were yet to emerge. “People are still afraid to approach the police.”

The Speaker said that the Assembly was a school of democracy. Legislators have to strike to achieve what Kerala lost in the last six decades in terms of various projects.

Recalling that the Kerala Assembly had gone past many milestones, Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan said that that the strength of democracy lay in decentralisation. Kerala Assembly had taken the lead to achieve that through legislations such as the District Administration Act.

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said that no other State could achieve what Kerala Assembly had achieved on the legislative front. The Subject Committee system, introduced by the House, had been adopted by the Lok Sabha in the form of standing committees.

Admitting that the Opposition ought to be constructive in its criticism, Mr. Chennithala said that the government should consult the Opposition on policy matters and other issues and try to arrive at a consensus. Political pluralism was the heart of democracy.

He said that the House should adapt to add colour to the dreams of the new generation.

Later, the House discussed and referred to the Subject Committee the Malayalam Language (Compulsory Language) Bill and adjourned for the day. The next sitting of the Assembly will be Tuesday at the Legislature Complex.

The sitting had begun with the question hour. However, calling attentions and submissions were not taken up. There was also no zero hour and the Opposition, which was protesting against the government during the last two sittings over issues such as remarks of Minister M. M. Mani against Pembilai Orumai (organisation of women estate workers in Munnar) , refrained from raising such issues on Thursday.