Tharoor to continue helming panel on IT

New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will continue to chair the parliamentary panel on information technology. This apart, while former Union Minister and Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who recently resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against the farm bills, too finds a place as a member of the panel on external affairs, various other Congress leaders who were critical of the government as chairperson of their respective parliamentary panels have also been retained.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in consultation with Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday announced the composition of several reconstituted parliamentary standing committees.

Tharoor, whose decisions to summon Facebook executives and take up the suspension of 4G internet services in J&K, had drawn criticism from the committee’s BJP members, some of whom had even sought his ouster.

Congress leader Anand Sharma will continue to chair the parliamentary panel on home affairs and Jairam Ramesh will remain the head of the panel on environment and science and technology.

The chairpersons of all parliamentary standing committees have been retained.

YSR Congress’s Vijaysai Reddy has been reappointed the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav of Health, TRS’s K Keshava Rao of Industry, TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab of Labour.

DMK’s Kanimozhi will continue to lead the panel on chemicals and fertilizers and JD(U)’s Rajiv Ranjan Singh will head the panel on energy.

All remaining chairpersons of the parliamentary standing committees, most of who are from the BJP, have also not been changed.

Sources said of the 237 Rajya Sabha Members nominated by Chairman M.Venkaiah Naidu on 24 DRSCs reconstituted for 2021-22, 50 have been changed to new committees and these 50 include 28 who had poor attendance in the meetings of committees held during 2020-21.

With Naidu suggesting attendance to be considered while recommending members on 24 DRSCs of Parliament, Sushil Kumar Modi has been moved from committees on Science and Technology and Urban Development to Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice (PPG) as its chairman after Bhupender Yadav became Minister.

While Chaya Verma has been moved from Agriculture to Social Justice and Empowerment, Prof Manoj Kr Jha from Railways to Labour, Shaktisinh Gohil from IT to Transport and Sasmit Patra from Education to PPG, Abhishek Manu Singhvi has been moved from Defence to Home while Derek O’Brien Transport to Home, Indu Bala Goswami from Health to science and Technology while Mausam Noor from Commerce to Water Resources. Mary Kom has been moved from Food to Urban Development, sources in RS secretariat said. Each committee has 11 members of Rajya Sabha and 20 of Lok sabha

Sources said attendance based nominations and changes could have been more but some leaders opined that poor attendance last year was due to covid and state elections. Most of the 50 changes were suggested by respective parties only that have nine by BJP, six by TMC, four changes sought by Congress while three each by Shiv Sena, CPM, RJD, YSRCP and two each by DMK,BJD and TRS and 1 each among other parties.

All three members of Shiv Sena who had kept the best attendance records have been moved to new committees. Sanjay Raut from Defence to External Affairs, Anil Desai from Coal and Steel to Commerce and Priyanka Chaturvedi from Commerce to Transport, Tourism and Culture.