The history of legislature in this part of the country began 125 years ago — on August 23, 1888, to be precise. It was on that day that the first legislative council of Travancore, with eight hand-picked men of substance on board, launched the process of formulating “legal stipulations and regulations” for the exercise of good governance in the State of Travancore.
Speaker G. Karthikeyan on Saturday said Kerala Legislative Assembly would be celebrating this milestone in history by organising a 12-month programme that would include lectures by eminent personalities, seminars on the evolution of politics and history, exhibitions on these subjects and cultural events.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Karthikeyan said the celebrations would be inaugurated by Governor of Maharashtra K. Sankaranarayanan in the members’ lounge in the Assembly at 4 p.m. on August 23. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy would preside over the function and Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan would deliver a keynote address.
He said all the legislative party leaders and the Deputy Speaker too would address the function and it would be followed by cultural events.
Mr. Karthikeyan said there was only one legislative council — the Karnataka Legislative Council — in the whole of the country that could place claim to such a long tradition as the Travancore Legislative Council, which evolved itself into the Kerala Legislative Council with the formation of Kerala.
The first meeting of the Travancore Legislative Council took place at the office of S. Shungrasoobyer, then the Settlement Diwan Peishkar of the Revenue Settlement, nominated as the chairman of the council. The members present were S. Shanmukha Subba Iyer, Frank Watts, C. Pacchu Panicker, T. Rajarama Varma, P. Thanu Pillai, T. Vedadri Sadasa Mudaliar, P.S. Sivan Pillai, and K. Neelakanta Pillai.
Mr. Karthikeyan said he had invited President Pranab Mukherjee to address the Assembly on a convenient date during the celebrations and the President had expressed his willingness to do so. The surroundings of the Assembly Complex would be planted with 125 trees during the year of the celebrations.