Kerala speaker sad over year of least sittings

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 27 : Kerala assembly Speaker G. Karthikeyan said Friday that he was deeply saddened that in the year 2013, the house saw only 37 sittings. And even in those few sittings, there were uproarious scenes on many days.

"Not much deliberation has taken place. This is not good for parliamentary democracy. I will not blame anyone for this," Karthikeyan told reporters Friday.

Listing the number of sittings in previous years, the speaker said 2013 will go down as a year of the lowest number of sittings in the history of the assembly.

"Not long ago, Kerala assembly always came first in the country when it came to yearly sittings. The highest was in 1960, when 94 days of sittings were held," said Karthikeyan, a veteran Congress leader.

"The only way for the session to be conducted in an effective way is when all political parties take responsibility and make a concerted effort to see that serious discussions take place," Karthikeyan said.

He also announced that in the present 13th assembly, the tenth session will commence Jan 3, and the budget for the next fiscal will be presented Jan 17.

The session will end Feb 12.

On Monday, as part of the valedictory celebrations of the assembly's winter session, 10 legislators who have served for 25 years or more will be honoured by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

Among the ten are state Finance Minister K.M. Mani, who has had a continuous tenure as legislator since 1967, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who has been a legislator since 1970, and Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, who has been a member of the house six times, starting 1967. Speaker Karthikeyan is also on the list of those to be honoured.

--IANS (Posted on 27-12-2013)

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