Wasn’t consulted on appointing V-P’s personal staff to house committees: Jairam Ramesh

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New Delhi: After Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar, attached eight officers from his office to various standing committees and other parliamentary committees under the jurisdiction of the Upper House, senior Congrese leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday categorically denied that he was consulted on the matter.

Ramesh is the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment, Forests & Climate Change.

“The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha has said that the decision to have his personal staff attached to various parliamentary committees was taken after consultations with the respective chairpersons. I chair a standing committee and I can categorically say that I wasn’t consulted at all,” Ramesh said.

Speaking at an event earlier on Thursday, Dhankar had said that the appointments were made after taking feedback from the committee members and chairpersons, adding that to optimise the functioning of the committees, he has appointed the best IAS and IFS officers.

The Congress has termed the appointment of Dhankhar’s personal staff to the Rajya Sabha committees as “unprecedented”, saying that it shows the lack of confidence in the existing staff.

Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh said, “Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar appoints his staff on standing committees… Yes, this is unprecedented. But the explanation given is also quite inappropriate. Doesn’t it reflect Rajya Sabha Chairman’s lack of confidence in the existing staff of the RS secretariat?”

“VP is Chairperson of Council of States Ex-officio. He is not a Member of House like Vice Chairperson or Panel of Vice Chairpersons. How can he appoint personal staff on Parliamentary Standing Committees? Would this not tantamount to institutional subversion,” Congress’ Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari tweeted.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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