Congress has secured chairmanship of five Parliamentary Standing Committees after failing to get the Leader of the Opposition post in the Lok Sabha. Its members M Veerappa Moily, Shashi Tharoor and P Bhattacharya will now head the important committees on Finance, External Affairs and Home respectively.
The main Opposition party has also got chairmanship of standing committees for Science and Technology and Law and Personnel. While the former will be headed by ex-Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, the latter has EM Sudarsana Natchiappan as its chairman.
Congress leader KV Thomas has already got the chairmanship of the prestigious Public Accounts Committee. Rahul Gandhi is a member of the Committee on External Affairs, while Congress President Sonia Gandhi does not figure in any of the panels announced. In the last Lok Sabha, Gandhi had been a member of the Committee on HRD and Sports.
BJP veteran LK Advani is a member of the Committee on Information and Technology headed by young Anurag Thakur (BJP). He is also a member of the Committee on Public Undertakings headed by senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar.
Another BJP veteran, Murli Manohar Joshi, has already been appointed as chairman of Estimates Committee of Parliament. In the previous Lok Sabha, Advani was a member of the Committee on Home Affairs.
Incidentally, the committee on HRD and Sports will be headed by senior BJP leader JP Nadda despite Congress pitching for its chairmanship. Smriti Irani is the HRD Minister.