Congress floor leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been appointed Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts (PAC of Parliament).
While BJP’s Girish Bhalchandra Bapat has been named as Chairman of the Committee on Public Estimates, his party colleague Meenakshi Lekhi has been appointed Chairperson of the Committee on Public Undertakings. BJP member Kirit Premjibhai Solanki is the new Chairman of the Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs) and party MP Ganesh Singh will head the Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The Chairmanship of the PAC, the most important parliamentary panel, conventionally goes to the principal opposition party, which passes it on to its leader in the House. Sometimes, the main opposition party gives it to another leader.
Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the Congress leader in the 16th Lok Sabha, was the Chairman of the PAC earlier. The BJP and its allies outnumber the opposition in the panel. BJP representatives include former Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha.
Speaker Om Birla is yet to constitute subject-wise committees. Though, theoretically, the presiding officer constitutes these panels, the exercise is handled by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister in consultation with leaders of party groups. Parties get the Chairmanship of the Committees on the basis of their strength in the two Houses.