Opposition To Head 5 Of 8 Rajya Sabha Parliamentary Committees
The Indian Parliament building stands in New Delhi. (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg)  

Opposition To Head 5 Of 8 Rajya Sabha Parliamentary Committees

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Opposition members of Rajya Sabha will chair five of the eight Department Related Standing Committees of the upper house which were approved by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.

Of the eight committees, the ruling BJP will get chairpersonship of three committees.

The opposition had headed four committees during the past two years.

Naidu also approved nomination of Rajya Sabha members on the 16 DRSCs of Lok Sabha. Constitution and chairpersons of the 16 DRSCs serviced by Lok Sabha were approved by Speaker Om Birla.

Of the committees of Rajya Sabha, Congress member Anand Sharma will head the DRSC on Home Affairs while his party colleague Jairam Ramesh will chair the Committee on Science, Technology, Environment and Forests.

From BJP, Satyanarayan Jatiya will chair the Committee on Human Resource Development while his party colleague Bhupendra Yadav will head the Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice and TG Venkatesh will chair the Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture.

Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav will chair the DRSC on Health and Family Welfare, K Keshava Rao of Telangana Rashtra Samithi has been nominated as chairperson of the Committee on Industry while V Vijay Sai Reddy of YSRCP will chair the Committee on Commerce.

Opposition members of the upper house chaired four of the 8 DRSCs of Rajya Sabha during the past two years and got the headship of one more committee this year.

The main opposition Congress retained its quota of chairmanship of two committees.

With 49 members in Rajya Sabha in 2013, BJP then chaired two committees and in the latest constitution of DRSCs, it got to head 3 committees with 79 members in the house.

Before constituting these committees, Chairman Naidu held consultations with Lok Sabha Speaker Birla and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi, sources said.

Chairmanship of the DRSCs instituted in 1993 is normally decided by the strength of various parties in Rajya Sabha but there have been deviations.

The sources said till 2005, there were only six DRSCs under the control of the upper house and it subsequently increased to 8.

During the 27 years since DRSCs came into being, Congress and Congress-led governments were in office for 13 years followed by BJP for 12 years and the Janata Dal-led United Front for two years.

Between 1993 and 2014, sources in the upper house said Congress got the chairmanship of DRSCs of Rajya Sabha more than their quota 17 times while BJP got so 7 times.

Since 2014, opposition parties have been chairing 50 percent or more of the 8 DRSCs of Rajya Sabha with BJP and Congress chairing the committees as per entitlement based on their strength in the House, they added.

The 24 Department Related Standing Committees function as mini-Parliament and undertake important tasks of detailed examination of demands for grants of different ministries besides examining and reporting on bills referred to them from time-to-time by the Presiding Officers of both the houses of Parliament.

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