HomeIndia NewsPAC meet sees Adhir, NDA netas fight over vaccination | India News

PAC meet sees Adhir, NDA netas fight over vaccination | India News

NEW DELHI: The first ‘in person’ meeting of the Public Accounts Committee after a long period of lockdowns in various states got off to a politicised start with panel chair Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s attempt to take up “mismanagement” of the Covid vaccination programme thwarted by NDA members who questioned his unilateral move.
The meeting began with Chowdhury reading out several paragraphs on the Covid situation and calling on the committee to discuss the issue. BJP and JD(U) members Jagdambika Pal and Lallan Singh protested, saying this was not part of the agenda and resolution needs to be put before the committee to vote on.
The PAC has in the past discussed issues even when a CAG report is not available as in the case of the 2G spectrum allocation. But this needs a thumbs up from the committee and as per PAC rules the decision has to be unanimous. Chowdhury could hardly be unaware that a significant number of PAC members are from NDA.
The political cut and thrust saw Chowdhury insisting that the subject required urgent attention and found some support from the lone Congress member present Shaktisinh Gohil and T R Baalu from DMK and Rahul Shewale who said the committee should hear what the chair had to say. This did not wash with other members of the committee.
BJP sources said the bid to spring a discussion on the Covid situation was an attempt by Chowdhury to score political points and in violation of PAC norms and rules. The agenda for the day was CAG reports on GST which were important and needed consideration. The panel’s processes do not allow arbitrary deviations and are best served by consensus and informal discussions as had resulted in the PAC backing an inquiry into the 2G affair.
Parliamentary committees have often been a battleground for political issues and PAC is no stranger to such a situation. The panels, in their composition, reflect the strength of parties in Parliament and here BJP and its allies have a dominant position.

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