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Baalu, Jaya spar over his continuing in Parl panel

DMK Leader TR Baalu Thursday reacted to Jayalalithaa`s charge that he was continuing in the Parliament paenl even after his party snapped ties with UPA. said

Chennai: Joining issue with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on her charge that he was continuing in a Parliamentary committee after his party snapped ties with UPA, senior DMK Leader T R Baalu Thursday said such appointments were made by presiding officers of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

"There is no link between my continuance in the Railway Standing Committee and UPA coalition. As a senior member of Parliament, the presiding officer has appointed me as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways," Baalu said in a statement.

His remarks came a day after Jayalalithaa questioned DMK Chief M Karunanidhi as to why he was silent on Baalu continuing as Railway Committee Chairman and his son M K Alagiri meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Observing that Jayalalithaa had once served as a Rajya Sabha member and is now serving as Chief Minister for third time, Baalu said "I hope she will understand how Parliament and State assemblies procedures are followed".

"While the Ministers are appointed by the President, members of the Standing Committees and Consultative Committees are appointed by the presiding officers of Parliament", he said.

Seeking his resignation from the Committee would amount to not only "challenging" the presiding officers powers but also interfering in his Parliamentary rights, Baalu said.