Are you challenging Speaker on parliamentary panels, Om Birla asks Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury | India News

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NEW DELHI: The standoff between the government and opposition parties over the distribution of chairmanship of parliamentary standing committees came to a head on Wednesday with Speaker Om Birla objecting to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s remarks alleging “subversion of convention” and asking him whether he was “challenging” the Speaker, whose mandate it is to decide who helms the committees.
In a zero hour intervention, Chowdhury accused the government of “subverting” parliamentary conventions by taking away the chairmanship of committees from opposition parties.
“For years, the opposition is protected in the House through conventions and precedents. You have ended these conventions and snatched away (the post of) chairman of all parliamentary panels from opposition parties. Yet, we hear of ‘One Nation, One Direction and One Family’. We lost the chairmanship of the IT committee, Sudeep (Bandopadhyay) babu also lost his chairmanship,” Chowdhury said.
At this, Birla intervened to ask whether Chowdhury was challenging the chair. “You are challenging the Speaker. It is my decision (on allotting chairmanship of standing committees),” Birla said, even as Chowdhury clarified that his remarks were directed at the government, not the Speaker’s office.
TMC floor leader Sudeep Bandopadhyay also stepped in and said he was informed by parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi that the government had decided to not give chairmanship of any committee to TMC. “Sir, we are not accusing the Chair … But TMC has not been given any chairmanship in spite of being the second largest party. But we are not begging for any chairmanship from this party (BJP),” he said.
In September this year, during a rejig of parliamentary standing committees, Congress lost the chairmanship of the House panels on information technology and home affairs. TMC was not given leadership of any panel.



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