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Speed up growth: Manmohan Singh

Special Correspondent

Prime Minister unveils statues of Gandhiji, Ambedkar, Nehru at Assembly complex

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged the Government and the people of Kerala to work hard to augment the State's industrial and agricultural growth in order to sustain the State's high human development indices.

Unveiling statues of Mahatma Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru in the Kerala Legislative Assembly Complex here on Saturday, the Prime Minister described Kerala as `an outstanding example of humane economic development' and noted that the State's commitment to education, social justice and empowerment of women, workers and farmers were a model for the entire country. He attributed Kerala's success in the struggle for `humane development' to the modernism and social commitment of its leaders and remarked that Kerala's impressive performance in the social and economic fields was in consonance with the vision of Gandhiji, Nehru and Ambedkar.

Kerala, he observed, was perhaps one of the earliest examples of the pluralism and inclusiveness that Gandhiji, Ambedkar and Nehru symbolised. "That every Malayali, irrespective of religion and creed, shares common cultural bonds through music, dance, cuisine and language is an inspiring example of `Unity in Diversity.' It has fostered a that symbolises the idea of India and should inspire Indians across the sub-continent and across the world," Dr. Manmohan Singh said.

The Prime Minister also reminded the people's representatives that the manner in which the legislative institutions function would shape the people's perceptions about them and that such institutions of democracy should be nurtured and protected so that the future of democracy could be safeguarded. The Prime Minister unveiled the statues of Gandhiji, Ambedkar and Nehru on his arrival at the sprawling Kerala Legislative Assembly Complex and offered floral tributes before the statues. He later honoured 15 members of the Kerala Assembly who have put in 25 years or more as members of the House, Congress MLA P. J. Joy, for his having attended all sittings of the Assembly since 1991 and Mohandas and Kishore G. Nagappa, the sculptors who made the statues of the Mahatma, Ambedkar and Nehru.

The MLAs honoured by the Prime Minister were K. R. Gouri, K. M. Mani, K. K. Nair, Oommen Chandy, A. C. Shanmughadas, R. Balakrishna Pillai, M. V. Raghavan, T. M. Jacob, K. Narayana Kurup, K. C. Joseph, C. T. Ahammedali, K. Mohammedali, K. K. Ramachandran, N. Soopy and C. F. Thomas. He also later posed for a photo session with the MLAs and planted a `chempakam' sapling.

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