Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has appointed Gopinath Munde as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the recommendation of Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj.
By precedent and practice over the last several decades, the PAC has been headed by a member of the main Opposition party.
In the current Lok Sabha, the PAC was constituted on August 6, 2009, and on the recommendation of the then Leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani, Jaswant Singh became the PAC Chairman.
Later, Mr. Singh was expelled by the BJP after he released his book on Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The BJP tried to get him relinquish his position, but Mr. Singh refused to do so. However, at the end of the last session of Parliament, he decided to quit his post, noting that he had made the point that the BJP could not take it for granted that it could recommend changing the PAC Chairman as and when it wished to do so.
Lok Sabha rules envisage appointments to the PAC for not more than one year. The Speaker’s notification has specified that Mr. Munde’s chairmanship will end on April 30, 2010, the rest of Mr. Singh’s tenure.
Ms. Swaraj had indicated that in April the issue of chairmanship of the committees that are with the BJP will be “re-visited.”
During Mr. Singh’s tenure (between August 6 and December 31, 2009), the PAC presented seven reports to Parliament.