On the Mayor’s seat sat ‘speaker’ Mahadevan, with two sergeants in uniform behind, on his left and right. The dais was decorated in colour balloons and confetti. The councillors were replaced by ‘union ministers’ and ‘parliament members.’
Following the presentation of condolence resolution, ‘President’ Maneesha Madhu delivered the policy address and the house approved it unanimously. Mayor K Chandrika, who otherwise led the procedures in the Corporation Council hall, looked on from the media chamber.
On Sunday, the children of ‘Balanagarasabha’ stole the show in the hall by holding their maiden ‘parliament’ meeting at the mock parliament jointly hosted by the City Corporation and Kudumbashree. Earlier, they had made a rough preparation the other day, but faced by time constraints, couldn’t go in for a rehearsal. The start of the session hence witnessed itsy-bitsy troubles at first, but that did not last long, as the youngsters got in sync with the proceedings soon.
Though they were presenting a mock parliament, the issues and matters that came up for discussion were about the happenings pertaining to the state. To make things easier, all had in their hands a prepared note, but in an hour, they penetrated deep into the matters of concern, leading to a heated debate.
The question hour set the stage for the fiery debates on issues demanding serious attention. What does the government do to address the ever-increasing garbage menace? What measures have been taken to ensure women’s safety? What measures are put in place for safety of women who depend on bus and train?
Replies like, ‘the subject is left for a detailed study report’ did not satisfy the opposition. Leader of the opposition Aleena fought tooth and nail for a convincing answer, and when the ministers failed to give it, she, along with the opposition members, staged a walkout, shouting slogans demanding the resignation of the minister.
Another member wanted to know why school students have to wait for long to get their textbooks printed. The education minister’s reply of staff shortage and less availability of paper at the printing press was not enough to pacify the member.
The debate at one point took a funny turn, as the shortage of one essential raw material bamboo was said to cripple the paper-making industry. Then it needs to cultivate bamboo and who will do it? When the ruling front was thrown the question, it boomeranged and fell on the opposition, whose leader made an escape saying, ‘it not her job to plant bamboo.’
Every minute, the discussion turned more and more intense. The lunch-break too dominated with their plans for the afternoon than making it a time devoted to enjoying the food.
The mock parliament was inaugurated by V Sivankutty MLA. Mayor K Chandrika, Deputy Mayor G Happykumar and Kudumbashree executive director K B Valsalakumari were also present. The ‘members’ of the mock parliament belonged to various schools in the city.