Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel constitutes House panels, committees

New Delhi: Officials aware of the matter said on Saturday that Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel has constituted various panels of the House such as the Privileges Committee, the Committee on Petitions and the Committee on Municipal Corporation for the current financial year.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and Delhi minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, who was earlier the chairman of the Committee of Privileges, is no longer a part of any committee due to his elevation to the cabinet. Similarly, Atishi, who was appointed education minister, is also not a member of the newly constituted House panel, officials said.

AAP leader Durgesh Pathak, who is also the party’s MCD in-charge, has been made the chairman of the Delhi Assembly Committee on MCD. The reconstitution of the committee comes at a time when the AAP government and the Lieutenant Governor (LG) are engaged in a tug-of-war over the powers of the assembly committee.

Delhi government under the leadership of CM Arvind Kejriwal is working with the goal of making Delhi clean, modern and beautiful, for which both Delhi government and MCD are working together. Pathak said that both the agencies will collaborate for this purpose and bring excellent results for the people of Delhi.

According to documents seen by HT, AAP MLA Somnath Bharti has been appointed chairman of the Privileges Committee, which is questioning various officials of the Delhi government on several matters of privileges of the Assembly.

A senior assembly official told that assembly committees are usually formed for one year, but they remain valid till they are reconstituted.

AAP MLA Rajesh Gupta has been made the chairman of the petition committee, which has also questioned various officials on issues ranging from health to social welfare to the Delhi Transport Corporation in the last few months. On January 19 this year, the petition committee presented two reports in the assembly and recommended the President and the home ministry to take appropriate action against three officials of the Delhi government, including the chief secretary, for withholding old age pensions and obstructing the functioning of Mohalla clinics.

The Business Advisory Committee, which finalizes the program of work to be held in the House, has also been reconstituted. The 9-member committee is headed by chairman Ram Niwas Goel and has Abhay Verma as a member of the BJP.

The assembly official said that 23 assembly committees have been reconstituted, besides seven department-related standing committees of the Delhi Assembly which consider matters related to various departments. Department related Standing Committees look into Administrative Reforms, Services, Vigilance, General Administration Department etc.