THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Governor P Sathasivam has said parliamentary democracy is an evolving process and cannot be perfected overnight. He was delivering the inaugural address at the National Students' Parliament 2019 held as part of the Festival on Democracy at the Kerala Assembly here on Saturday. He said democracy is evolving in a vibrant country like India.
The Governor said the people of the country should be educated politically and said the right to vote is the mother of all rights ensured by the Constitution. He said everyone should ensure that they are exercising their franchise which effects the necessary change required in a society. Sathasivam said when he took over as Governor, the voting rights of his wife and himself were in Mylapore, Chennai and he got them transferred to Thiruvananthapuram.
He said he along with his wife had proudly cast their vote in the last Assembly elections and said he is waiting eagerly to cast his vote in the coming general elections as well. The Governor also recalled his days as a Supreme Court Judge and the judgment he had pronounced as part of the Constitution Bench giving consent to the Local Area Development Funds of Members of Parliament. He said with the LAD Funds, the MPs and MLAs are fully involved in the local development initiatives.
He said Kerala is a classic example of political bonhomie and cited attending the funeral of former President A P J Abdul Kalam at Rameswaram along with the- then Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and then Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. He said the media in Tamil Nadu had extensively reported on it.
Sathasivam said during the funeral of former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, he had travelled to Chennai along with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala. He said he was travelling in his official car with the Chief Minister and the Opposition leader which was again major news in mainstream Tamil media as this was something unique.
The Governor said this is the spirit of democracy and even while there are dissenting views, there can be personal relationships and unity for common cause. According to the Governor, this was not the situation in several other states where the Opposition and the ruling front don’t see eye to eye. There was not even any communication between them.
Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan delivered the presidential address. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala choose to speak in Hindi which was well received by students from across the country.
Unicef country head Yasmil Ali Haque, Finance minister Thomas Isaac, Rahul V Karnad, executive president MIT, WPU Pune, Deputy Speaker of Kerala Assembly V Sasi and Assembly secretary V K Babu Prakash spoke.