Congress forms ?shadow? committees

The Hindu Business Line, November 07, 2014

Focused groups will closely watch policies and work of key Union Ministers

To counter the consistent barrage of policy and programme initiatives by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress plans to come out with the ?reality behind the slogans?, with planned follow-ups.

The principle opposition party on Friday fielded former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to condemn the ?farce? that is apparently being enacted in the name of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

?We demand that the Government comes out with a concrete blueprint for such programmes rather than the event management exercise that is consistently taken up in the name of policy initiatives,? Khurshid said.

British practice

The Congress has also set up a number of groups in the line of the British parliamentary practice of appointing a ?shadow? MP for each member of the Council of Ministers for following up on government policies.

For this, seven committees have apparently been formed ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament beginning November 24 to keep a watch on decisions and policies of key Union ministries.

The idea is to use its present pool of talent in Parliament to corner the Government while also tracking how many of the legislations and policy initiatives of the previous UPA government are sought to be changed.

Prominent members of these committees include former ministers AK Antony, M Veerappa Moily, Anand Sharma and Oscar Fernandes, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The committee that will look into issues relating to finance, foreign affairs, commerce and information and broadcasting has Moily, Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia as members while the panel on home, defence and law and justice has Antony, Ashwani Kumar and IYC chief Rajiv Satav in it.

Digvijay Singh, Ashok Chavan and Ninong Erring will be part of the group focused on agriculture and drinking water and sanitation.

Railways and labour

Kharge is on the panel on railways and labour along with Fernandes and Ranjeet Ranjan. The panel on health and women and child development has Azad along with JD Seelam and K Suresh.

The committee on HRD, panchayati raj and North-Eastern region has Mani Shankar Aiyar, Bhalchandra Mungekar and Sushmita Dev as members.

The panel comprising KV Thomas, Jairam Ramesh and Gaurav Gogoi will look after rural development and environment issues.

This news can also be viewed at: