BJP fails to submit names for House panels

In this TV grab made out of RSTV, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu conducts the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi.

In this TV grab made out of RSTV, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu conducts the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Parties were set a deadline of August 14 to submit names for 24 Parliamentary Standing Committees

BJP is the only political party yet to submit a list of nominees for various Parliamentary Committees, missing the August 14 deadline set by Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, after criticism from the opposition of “hurriedly” clearing crucial legislations without parliamentary scrutiny.

According to sources, Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma had on Monday sent out a reminder to all political parties to submit a list of names. Sources said the Congress was last among the opposition parties to send in its list but made it by the August 14 deadline.

“We have been given to understand that the BJP is finalising its list and will be submitting it in a day or two,” a senior Rajya Sabha secretariat official said.

The ruling NDA now has a majority in Rajya Sabha and with recent spree of resignations from the opposition benches their numbers have further increased leaving the opposition with little elbow room to stall or even demand that a piece of legislation be sent for further scrutiny. The opposition parties failed to send the RTI Amendment, Triple Talaq Bill or even the amended Unlawful Activities Prevention Act to Parliamentary committees for lack of numbers.

“We will manage to form the committees before August 31. If you look at the past dates on which the committees were notified then it will be clear that we are not particularly behind schedule. In 2009, the 15th Lok Sabha, the committees were announced on August 31 and in 2014 on September 1. It’s learnt that both Houses are racing to end the exercise by August 31,” the official said.

Opposition letter

On July 26, 17 opposition parties in a letter to both Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu flagged the government’s refusal to refer even the contentious bills to parliamentary panels.

The opposition said that in 14th Lok Sabha, 60% of the bills were referred to Parliamentary Committees. In the 15th Lok Sabha, 71% of Bills went to the committees. But this figure came drastically down in the 16th Lok Sabha when Prime Minister Narendra Modi government came to power first with only 26% of Bills sent for scrutiny.

In reply to this Mr Naidu had told the house that during his two-year tenure, out of the 10 bills that originated in Rajya Sabha, eight of them went to the standing or select committees.

There are 24 department-related Standing Committees, of which eight are with Rajya Sabha and 16 with Lok Sabha. Each committee has 31 members — ten from Rajya Sabha and the rest from Lok Sabha. Their primary task is to hold wider stakeholder consultations and debates on a piece of legislation referred to them.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 10:22:13 AM |

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