In a reorganisation of parliamentary panels revealed Tuesday evening, opposition parties were not given the chairmanship of any significant committees, with the Congress receiving the top position in only one panel and Trinamool Congress receiving none.
The major panels on Home, Finance, IT, Defense, and External Affairs were not handed the leadership to either of the two opposition parties. The Opposition criticised the action harshly, and the Congress labelled it a “draconian step.”
Brij Lal, a member of the BJP and a former IPS officer, has taken over as chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, which was formerly led by Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Shashi Tharoor, the chairman of the Congress and a candidate for the party’s presidency, has been replaced as head of the panel on information technology by Prataprao Jadhav, a Shiv Sena MP from the Eknath Shinde faction.
Nishikant Dubey, a member of the ruling BJP, repeatedly wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker requesting that Tharoor be removed from his position as chairman after accusing him of “misconduct” in functioning, an accusation that Tharoor refuted.
The Opposition criticised the reconstitution.
“A brutal move by the BJP. It appears that Prime Minister Modi is attracted by the oligarchy models of Russia and China, said Gaurav Gogoi, the deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.
“The second-largest opposition party in Parliament, which is the third-largest party in Parliament, does not receive a single leadership. The largest opposition party loses control of two significant committee chairmanships in the parliament. The TMC floor leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien, wrote on Twitter, “This is the stark reality of New India.
Senior Congressman Jairam Ramesh, who has been reappointed as chair of the committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, said, “This is Modindia.”
The committee on Commerce was not mentioned in the updated list. While the TMC has 13 members in the Upper House and 23 in the Lower House, the Congress has 31 members in the Rajya Sabha and 53 in the Lok Sabha.
Tiruchi Siva will lead the committee on industry, and M Kanimozhi will lead the committee on rural development and panchayati raj. The DMK, which has 24 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 10 in the Rajya Sabha, has been given two chairman posts.
The government’s decision to deprive the party of the head of the committee on communication and information technology was met with protests from the Congress earlier. The move to reassemble the committees in the middle of the 17th Lok Sabha was also questioned by the party.
Bhubaneswar Kalita, a Rajya Sabha member for the BJP, has taken over as chair of the committee on Health and Family Welfare in place of SP leader Ramgopal Yadav. BJP MP Locket Chatterjee will preside over the panel on food, and Vivek Thakur, a member of her party, will preside over the panel on education, women, children, youth, and sports.
Rajiv Ranjan Lalan Singh, a member of the JD(U), has taken over as Housing and Urban Affairs’ director in place of Jagadambika Pal. Pal will now serve as chair of the Energy Committee. K. Keshava Rao of TRS served as the panel’s chair. The chairman of the committee on labour, textiles, and skill development will be Bhartruhari Mehtab of the BJD.
The list of BJP leaders in charge did not undergo any significant modifications.
The committees for finance, defence, and external affairs will continue to be led by Jayant Sinha, Jual Oram, and P. P. Choudhary, respectively. The committee for personnel, public grievances, law, and justice will be led by former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi.
Parvatagouda Chandanagouda Gaddigoudar of the BJP will preside over the committees on agriculture, animal husbandry, and food processing. Radha Mohan Singh will preside over the committee on railroads. Parbatbhai Savabhai Patel will preside over the committee on water resources.