The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala comfortably overcame the no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition after 11 hours of discussion on Monday. Eighty-seven votes were polled by the LDF against 40 of the Congress-led United Democratic Front in the 140 member assembly on Monday. Though five hours was decided as the limit for the discussion with Covid-19 protocol, the allegations and response lengthened the session and the voting was held only at 9.20 pm.
Curiously, a record was created by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, for the longest speech in the history of the Kerala assembly, by taking 3 hours and 42 minutes to respond to the allegations raised by the Opposition. It started at 5.32 pm and ended at 9.15 pm. When the CM's speech, mainly recounting achievements of the state government rather than countering the allegations, exceeded 3 hours, the opposition members started protesting, but he did not quit and took nearly one more hour before concluding the speech.
The chief minister, who defended the appointment of the consultancies and the accusations against minister KT Jaleel but was silent on the alleged Life Mission scam, broke the record of his cabinet colleague Thomas Isaac.
Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac, on March 3, 2017, set a new record of having presented the lengthiest state budget in terms of duration. He overtook the record set by former chief minister Oommen Chandy by a margin of three minutes. A large chunk of the Budget presentation was spent on listing out names of almost all the beneficiaries of different schemes.
Oommen Chandy, when he was the chief minister, set the record for the lengthiest Budget presentation in the assembly on February 13, 2016, delivering a speech lasting 2 hours and 54 minutes. According to then assembly Speaker N Sakthan, Chandy crossed the previous record of 2 hours and 50 minutes set by former finance minister K M Mani. The total time could have crossed three hours if the chief minister had not skipped four or five pages regarding the financial aid to cultural institutions.
VK Krishna Menon
The record for the longest speech in the United Nations is in the name of another Keralite, India’s former finance minister VK Krishna Menon. According to the Guinness World Records, his statement to the Security Council was given during three meetings on January 23 and 24, 1957. According to the records, the meetings lasted more than 8 hours.
The second-longest speech at an international forum was again at the UN and was delivered by Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1960. It lasted 4 hours and 29 minutes. Castro bettered his own record in 1986 when he spoke for 7 hours in Cuba.
Stewart Stevenson, a Scottish lawmaker, holds the record for the longest speech in parliament. In 2004, he delivered a speech over 23 hours and 51 minutes on International Suicide Prevention Week. However, according to some reports, this was due to the failure of the parliament's sound system as he started to speak.
United States Senator Ted Cruz spoke for 21 hours 19 minutes in the US Senate in 2013 against Obamacare. His speech was interrupted with remarks by other senators of his party.
Coming back to India:
On Independence Day in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke for 92 minutes at the Red Fort. It is the longest ever Independence Day speech.
Late union finance minister Arun Jaitley's very first Budget speech in 2014 lasted over two hours.
Pranab Mukherjee, who in 2014 was the union finance minister in the United Progressive Alliance government, gave a Budget speech that lasted nearly an hour and 50 minutes.
On the night of August 14, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru made his famous 'tryst with destiny' speech. The speech was 72 minutes long, and was the longest Independence Day speech in Indian history until Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an 86-minute Independence Day address in 2015.