Special Correspondent

Speakers at a seminar oppose stalling of Assembly proceedings

Proceedings should be revised to provide more scope for discussing issues plaguing the public

Review of Assembly, Lok Sabha proceedings points to a decline in standards

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs E. Ahamed has called for putting an end to the system of stalling the Assembly proceedings.

Inaugurating a seminar in connection with the golden jubilee of the State Assembly here on Monday, Mr. Ahamed said that stalling the proceedings would deny legislators a chance to discuss vital issues in the House.

The proceedings should be revised from time to time to provide more scope for discussing issues plaguing the public. Duration of sessions should be increased to take up such issues. Increasing the number of sessions would enhance the quality of functioning, he said. The option of framing a legislation for this should be explored if needed.

Legislators should get actively involved in the framing of legislation. For this more sessions were imperative, he said. When Parliament was in session for 103 days in 1952, it was limited to 66 days in 2006. The situation of State Assemblies too was not much different, he said.

On quality

The quality of functioning too must improve. A review of the Assembly and Lok Sabha proceedings pointed at a decline in standards with every passing year.

Speaker K. Radhakrishnan in his presidential address said that the State Assembly had set a model for other States, but a quality enhancement was essential.

Former Speaker Vakkom Purushothaman said that the MLAs were not making use of their talent. Excessive politicisation had taken a toll on the functioning of House.

The floor of the House should not be used for political speeches. Members should study and present public issues, he said.

Former Speaker T.S. John said that Speakers should function beyond politics. Boycotting the Assembly was against the tenets of democracy. Live telecast of the proceedings should be permitted to improve quality, he said.

Former Speaker A.C. Jose too called for increasing the duration of the sessions. Former Speaker V.M. Sudheeran said that functioning of parliamentary institutions were not up to the expectations of the public. Commenting on the demand for increase in sessions’ duration, former Speaker Therambil Ramakrishnan said it should be examined whether members were properly utilising the present system.