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KERALA LEGISLATURE - A SKETCH OF EVOLUTION
 THE STATE LEGISLATURE (Since 1956)
 

An integrated State of Kerala emerged from the fusion on linguistic grounds, demolishing the walls of provincial separations. After the First General Elections held in February-March 1957, the First in the series of the Legislative Assemblies of Kerala commenced on March 1, 1957.The strength of the house was 127 including the lone nominated member. The Speaker of the First Kerala Legislative Assembly was Sri. Sankaranarayanan Thampi and the Deputy Speaker was Smt. K.O.Aysha Bai. On April 5, 1957, the first Communist Ministry, with Sri. E.M.Sankaran Namboodirippad as the Chief Minister assumed office. This Ministry was dismissed on July 31, 1959, after a series of struggles by the Opposition parties. The Assembly was dissolved on July 31, 1959. This Assembly had 7 sessions and 175 sittings. The major Legislative outputs include the Kerala University Bill, 1957, The Kerala Education Bill, 1957, The Kerala Agrarian Relations Bill, 1957 etc., adding upto a total of 88 passed bills. In 1957, the Business Advisory Committee was formed.

 

The Second Kerala Legislative Assembly, which commenced on February 22, 1960, had Sri.K.M.Seethi Sahib as the Speaker and Smt. A. Nabisath Beevi as the Deputy Speaker. On the demise of Sri. Seethi Sahib, Sri. C.H.Muhammed Koya became the Speaker on June 9, 1961. After his resignation on November 10, 1961, Sri. Alexander Parambithara assumed office on December 13, 1961. A Ministry with Sri. Pattom A Thanu Pillai as the Chief Minister was formed, giving rise to the first coalition experiment in the State of Kerala, consisting of the Praja Socialist Party, the Congress and the Muslim League. Sri. Pattom Thanu Pillai was appointed as the Governor of Punjab. On September 26, 1962, the Congress Legislative Party leader Sri.R.Sankar became the Chief Minister. A no- confidence motion against the Government was carried in September 1964. The State came under the President's rule and the Assembly was dissolved. This Assembly had 12 sessions and 300 sittings, in which 159 bills were passed, of which the Kerala Panchayat Bill, the Kerala Police Bill, the Kerala Land Improvement and Agricultural Loans Bill and the Kerala Public Servants (inquiries) Bill, 1960 deserve mention.          

 

In the Elections held in 1965, no party had majority. The President's Rule was extended till March 1967.

 

On 3rd March 1967, the Third Legislative Assembly was constituted after the General Elections in March 1967.There were 134 members in the House out of which one was nominated. Sri. Damodaran Potty was the Speaker and Sri. M.P.Mohammed Jaffer Khan, the Deputy Speaker. The Ministry headed by Sri. E.M.Sankaran Namboodirippad took charge on March 6, 1967. After the resignation of the Ministry on November 1, 1969, a realignment took place, with Sri. C. Achutha Menon as the Chief Minister. The Assembly was dissolved for a fresh mandate on June 26, 1970. The President's rule was imposed. In this Assembly, there were 7 sessions and 211 sittings. 102 bills were passed, among which the Co-operative Societies Bill, 1967, the Kerala Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 1968, and the Calicut University Bill, 1968 had special significance. The Committee on Public Undertakings started functioning in 1968. The Assembly held a special meeting in October 1969, to commemorate Gandhi Centinery.

 

The Fourth Kerala Legislative Assembly was constituted on October 4, 1970. Sri. K. Moideenkutty Haji was the Speaker and Sri. R.S.Unni, the Deputy Speaker. The Ministry was headed by Sri. C.Achutha Menon. On the resignation of the Speaker on May 8, 1975, the Deputy Speaker performed the duties till February 17, 1976, when Sri. T.S.John became the Speaker. The life of this Assembly was extended in 3 stages, till March 21,1977. Thus, it had a lifespan of 6 years, 5 months and 18 days, in 16 sessions and 322 sittings. The Kerala Children Bill and the Kerala State Rural Development Board Bill of 1971, the Kerala Agricultural Workers Bill, 1972, The Joint Hindu Family System (Abolition) Bill, 1973 and the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Bill, 1975 were among the 226 bills passed. In 1972, the Committee on the Welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was constituted. On the night of August 14, 1972, the Assembly met for the 25th Anniversary of Indian Independence.

 

The next in the series was the Fifth Kerala Legislative Assembly, which commenced on March 22, 1977. Since then the strength of the House continued to be 141 including one nominated member. Sri. Chakkeeri Ahammed Kutty was the Speaker and Sri. P.K.Gopalakrishnan the Deputy Speaker. The United Front Government assumed office on March 25, 1977, with Sri.K.Karunakaran as the Chief Minister. On his resignation on April 25, 1977, Sri. A.K.Antony became the Chief Minister. He resigned on October 27, 1978 and Sri.P.K.Vasudevan Nair became the Chief Minister. On October 12, 1979, Sri. C.H.Muhammed Koya became the successor, but resigned on December 1, 1979. President's rule was imposed and the Assembly was dissolved. Totally, there were 6 sessions and 143 sittings. 87 bills were passed. The major ones include the Kerala Headload Workers Bill, 1977, the Kerala Debt Relief Bill, 1977 and the Kerala District Administration Bill, 1978. An all party Committee was appointed by the Speaker in March 1979 to give suggestions regarding the Subject Committees to be formed. As per its recommendation the unique system of Subject Committees was introduced for the first time in India.           

The sub-committee appointed to report on the proposal for construction of the new legislature complex submitted its Report which was approved by the Cabinet vide G.O. dated 19-9-1978. The foundation stone of the Legislature Complex was laid by Sri. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, the President of India on June 4, 1979.
 

The Sixth Kerala Legislative Assembly commenced on January 25, 1980. Sri. A.P.Kurien and Sri. M.J.Zakaria were the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker respectively. The LDF ministry under Sri. E.K.Nayanar assumed office on 25-1-1980. This Ministry resigned on October 20, 1981. President's rule was imposed and the Legislative Assembly was put under suspended animation. On December 28, 1981 a Ministry was formed with Sri.K.Karunakaran as the Chief Minister. The Speaker, Sri. A.P.Kurien resigned on February 1, 1982, due to loss of majority and was succeeded by Shri. A.C.Jose .The Ministry resigned on March 17, 1982. Again came the President's rule. It had 7 sessions and 112 sittings. 47 bills were passed, among which stand the Kerala Advocates Welfare Fund Bill, 1980, the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Bill, 1980 and the Kerala Fishermen Welfare Societies Bill,1980. 

 

The Seventh Kerala Legislative Assembly opened session on May 24, 1982. With Sri.K.Karunakaran as the Chief Minister, the UDF Government assumed office. The Speaker, Sri. Vakkom B Purushothaman, when elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984, was succeeded by Sri. V.M.Sudheeran in March 1985. The successive Deputy Speakers were Sri.K.M.Hamsakunju and Sri. Korambayil Ahmed Haji. The Assembly lasted till March 25, 1987, completing the full term. It had 14 sessions and 249 sittings. 79 bills were passed. The Kerala Public Men (Prevention of Corruption) Bill, 1983, the Gandhiji University Bill, 1984 etc. fall in this group. The Silver Jubilee of the Legislative Assembly was celebrated in 1982. The Administrative Block of the Legislature Complex was inaugurated by Sri. Balaram Jhakhar, Speaker of the Lok Sabha on May 21, 1985. The work of the Assembly building was formally commenced when Shri V.M. Sudheeran, the Speaker, broke the clod of earth on 11th August 1986.                        

 

On March 25, 1987, the Eighth Kerala Legislative Assembly was constituted. Shri Varkala Radhakrishnan served as the Speaker and Smt Bhargavi Thankappan as the Deputy Speaker. The L.D.F. Ministry under Shri E.K. Nayanar assumed office. The Centenary Celebration of the Legislative Bodies was inaugurated on August 23, 1988 by the then Vice President Dr. Sankar Dayal Sharma. Shri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was The Chief Guest in the Valedictory function held on August 22, 1989. The Assembly lasted till April 5, 1991, through 11 sessions and 282 Sittings. Among the 112 bills passed, the welfare oriented ones like the Kerala Coir Workers Welfare Fund Bill, 1987, The Kerala Khadi Workers Welfare Fund Bill, 1988, The Kerala Handloom Workers Welfare Fund Bill, 1988 and the Kerala Construction Workers Welfare Fund Bill,1989, and the Kerala Public Libraries Bill, 1989 needs special mention. On August 13, 1987, the 40th Anniversary of Indian Independence was celebrated in a special meeting of the Assembly.

 

Beginning from June 29, 1991, the Ninth Kerala Legislative Assembly had Shri K. Karunakaran as the Chief Minister and Shri P.P. Thankachan as the Speaker from 1991 to 1995. From 1995, Shri A.K. Antony and Shri Therambil Ramakrishnan were the respective successors. The Deputy Speaker was Shri K. Narayana Kurup. On January 1, 1992, the Accident Insurance Scheme for Members was begun. On November 3, 1993, the Banquet Hall and the 6 Committee Rooms in the Legislature Complex were inaugurated by Shri P.P. Thankachan. The Orientation Programme for the Members began on November 12, 1992. The Assembly lasted till March 19, 1996. There were 15 sessions and 264 sittings. The Kerala Infrastructure Development Bill, 1993, the Kerala Panchayat Raj Bill and the Kerala Municipalities Bill, 1994, the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit Bill, 1994 etc. were some among the 83 bills passed. It may be noted that on April 24, 1994 Shri Cyriac Joseph, Additional Advocate General was invited to the House to give clarifications on certain points raised by Members during the discussion on the Panchayat Raj Bill. This Assembly saw the formation of the Committee on the Welfare of the Women and Children and the Committee on Environment in 1992, the Committee on the Welfare of Backward Class Communities in 1993 and the Committee on Papers Laid on the Table in 1995. The Governor's Speech and the Budget speech were recorded and telecast, for the first time, in 1995.

 

The Tenth Kerala Legislative Assembly was constituted on May 14, 1996. Shri E.K. Nayanar and the Council of Ministers from the L.D.F. formed the Ministry on May 20, 1996.   On 30th May 1996 Shri M. Vijayakumar was elected as Speaker. He occupied the chair till 4𧛮001, the only Speaker who had completed the full term in Kerala Legislative Assembly.  Shri C.A. Kurian was elected as Deputy Speaker on July 17, 1996.

On April 27, 1997 the Assembly celebrated its 40th Anniversary the focus of which was the honour conferred on the living Members of the First Kerala Legislative Assembly.  The day of September 18, 1997 has become memorable by the address given by the President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan, to the Kerala Legislative Assembly, the first of its kind in India.
From a small council held in Dewan抯 Room, the structural growth of the Legislature reached its pinnacle on 22nd May 1998, when the President Shri K.R. Narayanan inaugurated the new Assembly Building.  The last meeting of the Assembly in the old Assembly Chamber in the Secretariat campus was held on June 29, 1998.  On June 30th the Assembly met in the new chamber in the Legislature Complex inheriting the tradition from the glorious past.  On February 24, 2001 the old Assembly Building was declared as a historical monument and was dedicated to the nation by the Vice President of India, Shri Kishan Kant.
In July    1999, the Committee of Privileges was renamed as Committee of Privileges and Ethics and Committee on the Welfare of Women and Children as Committee on the Welfare of Women Children and Physically Handicapped.  The Tenth Kerala Legislative Assembly was dissolved on May 16, 2001.  It held 16 Sessions with 268 days of Sittings.  104 Bills were passed.  The Malabar University Bill, 1996, The Kerala Board of Revenue Abolition Bill, 1996, The Pre-degree Course Abolition Bill, 1997, The Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Bill, 1998, The Kerala Lok Ayukta Bill, 1999, The Kerala Sports Bill, 1999 are some of the landmark legislations passed by the Tenth Kerala Legislative Assembly.  
In the election held on May 10, 2001 the United Democratic Front consisting of Indian National Congress, Muslim League, Kerala Congress (M),R.S.P.(Bolshevik), Kerala Congress(Jacob),  Kerala Congress(B), and J.S.S secured 99 seats in the Assembly. The electronic voting machine was used in 140 constituencies for the first time. The Ministry headed by Shri.E.K.Nayanar resigned on May 13,2001 and the Tenth Kerala Legislative Assembly was dissolved on May 16,2001.
The Eleventh Kerala Legislative Assembly was constituted on May 16,2001 and an eight member coalition ministry headed by Shri A.K.Antony was sworn in on May 17,2001. The Ministry was expanded on May 26,2001 with the induction of twelve more Ministers. Shri Vakkom Purushothaman was elected as the Speaker on June 6,2001 and Shri N.Sundaran Nadar as Deputy Speaker on July 4,2001.

On March 10,2003, Shri K.B.Ganesh Kumar, Minister for Transport resigned, and Shri R.Balakrishna Pillai was inducted to the Ministry on the same day.

In the same year on June 27, two new Legislature Committees viz Committee on Official Language and Committee on Local Fund Accounts were constituted.

Shri Mammen Mathai MLA expired on September 23, 2003 and his wife
Smt. Elizabeth Mammen Mathai got elected in the by election held on December1, 2003.

The Ministry was expanded on February 11, 2004 with the induction of
Shri K.Muralidharan, who was not a Member, as Minister. The portfolios of the Ministers were also reshuffled.

 Shri.V.Balaram resigned his membership in the Assembly on February 20, 2004. In the by election held on May 10, 2004 Shri K. Muralidharan lost the Wadakkenchery seat to Shri A.C.Moideen who took oath on May 28, 2004. Consequent on the defeat, Shri K.Muralidharan resigned his ministership on May 15, 2004.

On August 29, 2004 Chief Minister Shri A.K.Antony submitted the resignation of his Ministry. Subsequently a new five member Ministry was formed with Shri Oommen Chandy as the Chief Minister on August 31, 2004. On September 5, 2004 the Ministry was expanded with the induction of fifteen more Ministers.  Shri Vakkom Purushothaman who had resigned Speakership on September 4, 2004 became Finance Minister in the new Ministry. Shri Therambil Ramakrishnan got elected as the new Speaker on September 16, 2004.

On January 4th, 2005 Shri P.K.Kunhalikutty, the Minister for Industries resigned and Shri V.K.Ebrahim Kunju assumed office on January 6,2005. On April 17, 2005 Shri T.K.Balan, MLA expired and Shri M. Prakashan Master got elected in the by election held on June 2, 2005

The election of Shri. P.Jayarajan from Koothuparamba assembly constituency was declared void by the Supreme Court on January 11,2005. In the bye election Shri. p. jayarajan was declared elected on June 5, 2005.

Shri A.K.Antony resigned his membership in the Assembly on June 8, 2005 consequent on his election to the Rajya Sabha.

Nine Members belonging to the Indian National Congress resigned their seats in the Assembly with effect from July 5, 2005.

On August 11, 2005 Shri V.C Kabeer resigned his membership in the Assembly. 

Shri A. Sujanapal assumed office as Minister on January 4, 2006.

Dr.A. Neelalohita Dasan Nadar resigned his membership in the Assembly on April 3, 2006

The total number of twelve vacancies, which thus arose, remained unfilled.

The election to the Twelfth Kerala Legislative Assembly was held on April 22, 29 and May 3, 2006. In the election, the Left Democratic Front secured a thumping majority. The Eleventh Kerala Legislative Assembly dissolved on May 12, 2006and the Ministry headed by Shri Oommen Chandy   resigned on that date. The resignation was accepted by the Governor and was asked to continue till alternate arrangements were made.

The Eleventh Kerala Legislative Assembly met for 257 days and passed 165 Bills.

The Assembly also witnessed some special events during this period. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, The President of India addressed the House on July 28,2005. The statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar were unveiled in the Assembly premises by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India on September 3, 2005. A bust of K.R.Narayanan, former President of India was unveiled in the parlour of the House on March 15, 2006 by the Honourable Speaker Shri Therambil Ramakrishnan.

A Museum for Legislature highlighting the various stages in the people抯 representation  was formally inaugurated on May 5, 2006.

On May 13, 2006 the Twelfth Kerala Legislative Assembly was constituted. A nineteen member Ministry headed by Shri V.S. Achuthanandan was sworn in on May18, 2006. The first session of the Twelfth Kerala Legislative Assembly commenced on May 24, 2006. Shri K.Radhakrishnan was elected as the Speaker of the Assembly on May 25, 2006 and  Shri Jose Baby was elected as the Deputy Speaker on June 20, 2006.

October 13, 2006 Shri. Mathai Chacko, the Member elected from the Thiruvambadi Constituency expired. Shri. George M. Thomas got elected on December 7, 2006 in the Bye-election held on December 4, 2006. Shri. George M. Thomas took affirmation on December 15, 2006.

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