The parliamentary panel on information technology will continue to be chaired by Congress leader Shashi 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. 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, with former Union Minister and Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal being made a member of the panel on external affairs.
Badal recently resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against the farm bills. According to the list released by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Tharoor will continue to chair the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology.
A bitter slugfest had broken out between Tharoor and BJP MP and member of the parliamentary panel of information technology Nishikant Dubey over the suspension of 4G services in Jammu and Kashmir and summoning of Facebook executives over alleged misuse of the social media platform for hate-speech. Besides Tharoor, various other Congress leaders who were critical of the government as chairperson of their respective parliamentary panels have been retained.
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 chairperson 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. The department-related parliamentary standing committees are constituted for a period of one year and comprise 21 members from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.