In a first in the state history, the Kerala Assembly will have an all-women panel of chairman in the current session, newly-appointed Speaker A.M.Shamseer announced on Monday as the House met on day one of the session.
The panel comprises ruling front legislators U.Prathibha of the CPI-M and C.K. Asha of the CPI and K.K.Rema from the opposition.
The proceedings in the Assembly are moderated by the speaker and when he/she takes a break, the deputy speaker takes over and when none of them are available it’s a member of the panel who takes the seat of the speaker.
Incidentally, the decision was taken by Shamseer and announced on the first day as he sat on the Speaker’s chair this morning.
After M.V.Govindan resigned to become the new CPI-M state secretary, Speaker M.B.Rajesh was made the state LSG and Excise Minister paving the way for Shamseer to take over as the new speaker.
The members are appointed on the first day of a new session and continue till it ends.
Even though the present session has listed business only for nine days, with the ongoing tiff between the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan reaching a new high, there is every likelihood of it spilling over to the new year.
And if that happens, Vijayan will be able to keep Khan away from reading out the customary Governor’s address to the Assembly, a convention that happens in the first session which starts in a new calendar year.
Hence, the all woman panel will be able to preside in the new year, when the state budget for the new fiscal will be presented.
Since the inception of Kerala, 515 legislators have been nominated to the panel and only 32 women legislators have so far made it to the panel.