Kerala assembly no longer model for the country: Antony

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 30 : The Kerala assembly is no longer a model for the country, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said Monday, addressing the valedictory function of the 125 years' celebration of the legislature of Kerala.

"There was a time when the functioning of the Kerala assembly was a model for the country, but it no longer holds good, as bills are being passed without discussion. This does not augur well for the new generation. Both the treasury and the opposition benches are equally responsible for this," Antony, who has served as chief minister of the state three times, and has been a legislator in the house five times, said.

Antony was first elected to the Kerala assembly in 1970.

Last week, Kerala assembly Speaker G. Karthikeyan said he felt sad that only 37 sittings were held in the year 2013, the least number of sittings in the history of the house.

The last session of the house was cut short in June, after the Left opposition made repeated disruptions over what is termed the "solar scam" in the state, alleging involvement of people in high office in the state.

In 1960, the Kerala assembly saw sittings for 94 days. Over the years, the number of sittings has fallen, and it touched 37 days in the present calendar year. Even on days when sittings were held, proceedings were hampered as uproarious scenes and heated arguments occurred between treasury and opposition benches.

The next session of the house is set to begin Jan 3, with the customary address by Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar.

Only on Sunday did the Left opposition in the state call off a blockade of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's residence, that began early this month, to press for the resignation of Chandy over the "solar scam".

Left Democratic Front convenor Vaikom Viswan, however, has warned that protests against Chandy would continue inside the assembly.

--IANS (Posted on 30-12-2013)

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