Mallikarjun Kharge set to become the new chairperson of Public Accounts Committee after KV Thomas

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New Delhi | Published: March 15, 2017 11:30:18 AM

Recently, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker accusing Thomas of “breach of privilege” and “lowering the dignity” of the committee for “ulterior political motives” and said that the notice should be taken as a privilege notice to be sent to Lok Sabha privileges committee.

Ex Railway Minister, M Kharge (PTI)

Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge will be the new chairperson of Public Accounts Committee (PAC’s) when it is reconstituted by April 30, said sources to Indian Express. The chair is given to an MP from the main opposition party. KV Thomas has served three consecutive terms as PAC’s chairman and since 2014 has been chairperson of PACs. He was mired in various controversies including contentious issues like demonetisation and the AgustaWestland helicopter purchase in this tenure. Thomas had proposed to call Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of a panel for his decision on demonetisation, which drew eyeballs.

Recently, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker accusing Thomas of “breach of privilege” and “lowering the dignity” of the committee for “ulterior political motives” and said that the notice should be taken as a privilege notice to be sent to Lok Sabha privileges committee. Last year, Dubey had intended to head the defence committee so as to examine CAG reports on irregularities in a number of deals including AgustaWestland. But Thomas rejected it saying that he has the authority to select sub-committee heads. Thomas has been in major tiff with BJP members during his term.

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There is no specifics as to how many years one can serve as PAC’s chairman. The main Opposition party is supposed to be head It is reconstituted every year, has 22 members — 15 Lok Sabha and seven Rajya Sabha. BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was also PAC chairman for five terms. This was during different Lok Sabhas; during the tenure of one Lok Sabha, Joshi was PAC chairman for four consecutive terms. The committee is reconstituted every year and this year, sources said, that Sonia Gandhi has informed Thomas recently that Kharge will be replacing him. Kharge has won 11 elections since 1972. He served various constituencies in Karnataka and has been MP from Gulbarga for the past two terms. He became the Union Minister of Labour and Employment in UPA II in 2009.

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