BJP set to grab top posts in most of House panels

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on June 05, 2014

Cooperation from these panels is key to smooth implementation of policies

The Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to grab a lion’s share of the posts of chairpersons of the various department-related and other standing committees of Parliament. The party believes that cooperation from such committees is important for the Government for the implementation of its policies.

Elections will take place for the three Financial Committees – Public Accounts Committee, Committee on Public Undertakings and the Estimates Committee. According to convention, the post of the PAC chairman is held by the Opposition.

The Parliament Affairs Ministry is finalising the list of heads and members of the panels. The list will be submitted to the Speaker for approval after the election to the post scheduled on Friday.

During the UPA-II regime, the PAC, chaired by Murli Manohar Joshi, was very vocal in its criticism of the Government over several CAG reports such as 2G, commonwealth games and public-private-partnership in airports. The BJP wants to ensure that the PAC chairmanship does not always wrest with the Congress.

In 1984, the last time when a Government with complete majority ruled the country, the Opposition parties Telugu Desam Party and CPI (M) chaired the panel for two terms each. In 1989, the Congress’s ally AIADMK got the chairman’s post.

Sources, who are aware of the partition of committees, told Business Line that the BJP leadership has informally approached the floor leaders of AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and the Biju Janata Dal on the constitution of the PAC.

Formation of the House Committee, that decides the allocation of residences to MPs, will be the first task of the newly elected Speaker. Membership in committees is decided on the principle of proportional representation of parties in both the Houses.

The BJP is eyeing the department related standing committees on Coal, Steel, Defence, Energy, External Affairs, Home, Transport, Commerce, and Finance.

It may hand over a couple of panels to its allies. The Congress may have to settle for just two or three panels. A lot of discussions take place in these panels.

Though the Government is not bound by the recommendations of these panels, the BJP has always advocated a better role for Parliamentary panels.

The AIADMK and the Trinamool Congress may get two each, while the BJD is likely to get the chairmanship of one panel.

Left parties, with just 11 members in the lower House, are not likely to get any chairman posts.

The arrangement in Rajya Sabha panels is also likely to change as the BJP’s share of MPs in the Lok Sabha has more than doubled.

Published on June 05, 2014

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