New Delhi: 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 J P Nadda despite Congress pitching for its chairmanship. Smriti Irani is the HRD Minister.
Non-NDA parties which have got chairmanship include Trinamool Congress member K D Singh (Transport) former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi--also Trinamool--(Railways), BJD member Pinaki Mishra (Urban Development), AIADMK's P Venugopal (Rural Development), Satish Chandra Misra of BSP (Health) and KC Tyagi of JD-U (Commerce and Industry).
Former general BC Khanduri, who missed the ministerial bus due to age factor will now head the Committee on Defence, while Rajiv Pratap Rudy, another ministerial aspirant, has got chairmanship of Energy.
BJP ally Shiv Sena's Anandrao Adsul has got the chairmanship of Chemicals and Fertilisers, while TDP's J C Divakar Reddy will head panel on Food and Consumer Affairs.
BJP leaders who have got chairmanships of Parliamentary Committees include Chandan Mitra (Commerce), Hukum Deo Narayan Yadav (Agriculture), Virendra Kumar (Labour), Prahlad Joshi (Petroleum), Hukum Singh (Water Resources), Hansraj Ahir (Coal) and Ramesh Bais (Social Justice).
Incidentally, Ahir, who is a member from Chandrapur in Maharashtra, was in the forefront in the last Lok Sabha in raising the issue of alleged scam in the allocation of coal blocks.