In the midst of the BJP-Congress confrontation over the post of the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, members to five important Parliamentary committees, including the most vital Public Accounts Committee (PAC), have been elected unanimously. Members to over a dozen government bodies too have been elected without any contest.
The last time members got elected to these bodies unanimously was in 1984, when the Congress returned to power with a huge majority after decimating opposition parties.
The four committees apart from the PAC are — the Estimates Committee, Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU), Committee for the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the Committee on OBCs.
The unanimity emerged after a total of 34 MPs withdrew their nomination papers. Since the chairmanship of the PAC conventionally goes to the main opposition party, Congress member K V Thomas is likely to be nominated as the Chairman of the panel.
Although Rajya Sabha has also unanimously elected its members to these committees, its secretariat is yet to officially announce the results. The Lok Sabha members elected to the PAC are S S Ahluwalia, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Jayant Sinha, Kirit Somaiya, Anurag Thakur (all BJP), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Ranjit Singh Brahmpura (Akali Dal), Gajanan Kirtikar (Shiv Sena), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJP), Neiphiu Rio (Independent), M Thambidurai (AIADMK) and K V Thomas. Seven members elected by the Rajya Sabha will join the committee.
The Lok Sabha members elected to COPU are Shanta Kumar, Ramesh Bais, Prahlad Patel, Pankaj Chaudhary, Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan, Biren Singh Engti, Dilip Kumar, Mansukhlal Gandhi, Dr Khambhampati Haribabu, Yogi Aditya Nath, Baijayant Panda, Ram Sinh Rathwa, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, Saugata Roy and B Senguttuvan.
The Lok Sabha members elected to the Committee on Estimates are Sultan Ahmed, Kirti Azad, Kalyan Banerjee, Ashok Chavan, Sonaram Choudhary, Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinod Khanna, KH Muniyappa, Mohammad Salim, Ram Kripal Yadav and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav amongst others.