There was banging on the desks, tapping on the mikes and heated debates on the various issues that the country faced. While the ‘ruling party' spoke on the merits, the ‘opposition' argued their points. But this time, the echo from the old Assembly Hall was that of a group of school students.

The repeat performance of the winners of the Youth Parliament session was inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday at the old Legislative Assembly Hall of the Secretariat.

Laughter erupted when Mr. Chandy, on entering the hall, greeted the ‘opposition leader' along with Speaker G. Karthikeyan.

With the help of a student member he also identified the bench on which his name was scribbled earlier when he used to attend the sessions in the hall.

“Today, the world is highly competitive even though it provides you with a lot of opportunities. Only through hard work and dedication can one reach the pinnacle of success. Even when one attains the greatest success, one should remember his duty to the country and his society,” Mr. Chandy said while inaugurating the function.

Presiding over the function, Mr. Karthikeyan said attempts were being made by many to weaken the principles of democracy on which the country functioned. So, it was necessary that the younger generation be made aware of the powers of parliamentary democracy, he said.

Winners

Moothanthara KHS School, Palakkad was adjudged the best from among 88 schools which participated in the competition. The parliament session by the students of KHS school missed no elements of that of a regular parliamentary session. A range of topics were discussed where the members raised questions and argued fiercely with each other. The students also maintained discipline and observed the required parliamentary procedures. The parents in the visitors' gallery applauded when the members proved a point.

Prizes were presented to the students and best parliamentarians. The first prize winners were presented the rolling trophy. The second prize was shared by GGHSS Balussery, Kozhikode; and St. Sebastian HSS, Cheenthalar, Idukki.

The Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs conducts the Youth Parliament competition in various categories such as schools, colleges and universities.

The school-level winners were given a special privilege by the Chief Minister to make a repeat performance at the old Assembly Hall.