Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony has urged legislators of the Kerala Assembly to read the writing on the wall and work together to regain the past model standards it had set for the country.

Inaugurating the valedictory function of the year-long 125th anniversary of the “Legislative bodies of Kerala” at the Legislative complex here on Monday, Mr. Antony came down heavily on the current trend of passing legislation in the Assembly without a thorough debate. “Passing legislation without proper debate is injustice being done to the coming generation and the public will have to suffer from the flaws that creep into the law,” he added.

History of the House

Mr. Antony, a former Chief Minister of the State, said it was the responsibility of both ruling and Opposition parties to ensure that greater time was devoted for discussions in the House.

The Union Minister reminded the legislators that there was a time when Kerala Assembly was known for path-breaking legislation it passed.

The Assembly had a reputation for keeping pace with social changes. Many of the socially radical and welfare oriented bills it enacted had set a model for the whole country.

“Could the same legislature make such a claim now?” he said.

Collective effort

Expressing concern over the sharp decline in the number of days the House met in 2013, Mr. Antony said only through discussions can change be brought about in the State.

The ruling members, the Opposition and the Speaker should take the initiative to make the Assembly a model for the nation again.

More jobs needed

The youth of today have a different dream and more jobs and infrastructure facilities are needed in private and public sector.

Speedy development and equality were needed. The time has come for a second Kerala Model of development.

The legislature should take up discussion in this regard and adopt a new style of working in the year ahead, Mr. Antony said.

Supporting the views of Mr. Antony, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who presided over the function said no one wants to pass the Bills without debate. Tolerance and cooperation of all was needed for the smooth functioning of the House, he added.

VS’s opinion

Leader of Opposition, V. S. Achuthanandan, who delivered the keynote address, said the ruling coalition should take the lead to ensure that the House takes up serious discussion on the Bills. The ruling front should approve the role of the Opposition.

Speaker G. Karthikeyan welcomed the gathering and leaders of political parties spoke.

Mr. Antony felicitated 11 legislators who completed 25 years in the Thiru-Kochi and Kerala Assembly and 33 mediapersons who had covered the Assembly proceeding for 25 years.

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