Rahul Gandhi drops out of HRD House panel

Rahul Gandhi, who is tipped to get a bigger role in the Congress organistion, has opted out of the parliamentary standing committee on human resource development headed by Oscar Fernandes, who is considered to be close to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Rahul, who was nominated to the committee in 2007, had chosen to serve it even after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Earlier, Rahul was a member of the parliamentary standing committee on home for three years, from 2004 to 2007.

The Congress has been allocated the standing committee on social justice and empowerment, which was with the BSP earlier. It has picked Hemanand Biswal as chairman. The BSP has been given the committee of labour instead. BSP floor leader in the Lok Sabha Dara Singh Chauhan, who presided over the committee on social justice and empowerment, now heads the committee on labour. The social justice committee was vital for the BSP for pushing its own agenda.

The standing committee on industry, which was chaired by BSP Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Das Gupta, has now gone to the DMK. The party has nominated its Rajya Sabha member Tiruchi Siva as the chairman. The BSP has got the standing committee on health and family welfare, which will be headed by Brajesh Pathak.

Most parties have, by and large, settled for status quo, avoiding any largescale changes. The chairmen of other committees include: Venkaiah Naidu (home), Ananth Kumar (external affairs), T R Baalu (railways), Kalyan Banerjee (coal and steel), Yashwant Sinha (finance), T Subbarami Reddy (science, technology, environment and forests), Sitaram Yechury (transport and tourism and culture), Mulayam Singh Yadav (energy) and Sharad Yadav (urban development).

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