The Centre on Tuesday reshuffled the posts of chairpersons of key parliamentary panels, PTI reported. With the changes, the Congress and Trinamool Congress no longer hold charge of any major panels.
Currently, the chairpersons of the six major parliamentary committees – home, IT, defence, external affairs, finance and health – belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies.
Congress was given charge of the panel on science and technology, forests and climate change.
Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi was replaced by BJP MP Brij Lal as the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is contesting the party’s presidential polls, has been replaced by Shiv Sena MP from the Eknath Shinde faction, Prataprao Jadhav, as the head of the Parliamentary Panel on Information Technology.
The Trinamool Congress, which headed the Parliamentary Panel on Food and Consumer Affairs, did not get to head any committee.
Leaders from the Congress and the Trinamool Congress rebuked the BJP-led Centre for not distributing posts to main panels.
Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi described it as a draconian step, The Indian Express reported. “Seems like Prime Minister Modi is fascinated by Chinese single party rule and the Russian oligarchy model,” he said.
Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien was shocked that his party did not get to head a single panel despite having the second-largest presence in the Opposition, PTI reported.
“The largest opposition party [Congress] loses two crucial chairmanships of Standing committees,” he said. “This is the stark reality of New India.”
Meanwhile, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Bhubaneswar Kalita replaced Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav as the chairperson of the Parliamentary Panel on Health and Family Welfare, The Indian Express reported.
The panel on food will be chaired by BJP MP Locket Chatterjee and the one on education, women, children, youth and sports will be headed by her party colleague Vivek Thakur.
BJP MP Jagadambika Pal, who was heading the Parliamentary Panel on Housing and Urban Affairs, has been replaced by Janata Dal (United)’s Rajiv Ranjan Lalan Singh. Pal will now head the committee on energy.
Biju Janata Dal’s Bhartruhari Mehtab will head the committee on labour, textiles and skill development.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will head the Parliamentary Panel on Industry, which was with Telangana Rashtra Samithi, PTI reported.