Shashi Tharoor loses chairmanship of IT panel in major rejig

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 4: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is no more the chairperson of the Parliamentary standing committee on Information Technology (IT), as he has been replaced by the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena Parliamentarian Prataprao Jadhav.

The axing of Tharoor has come in the backdrop of a number of the Bharatiya Janata Party MPs having campaigned against Tharoor, which included former complaints with the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, for allegedly leaking the agenda and details of the panel meeting to the media.

The Tharoor-led panel had been hearing a number of representatives of the social media and technology giants, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, over the abuse of their platforms, besides privacy violation. The Opposition MPs had in the panel meetings been accusing the social media giants being in cahoots with the ruling BJP to influence the electorate.

In one of the meetings called by Tharoor, the Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Maitra and her BJP colleague Nishikant Dubey had allegedly engaged in name calling against each other, while the ruling party members had reportedly sought to derail the meeting called by the Congress MP.

Jadhav is largely not known to be a face who can take on the tech giants, while his being an MP of a BJP ally would be seen that Tharoor has been removed on account of the campaigns by the ruling party members against him.

The Opposition MPs expressed dismay over the rejig of the Parliamentary panel on Tuesday, with the TMC MP Derek O’Brien accusing that his party has not got any chairmanship of any panel despite being the third largest political party in Parliament.

Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi to lost the chairmanship of the Parliamentary standing committee of Home Affairs, which has gone to the BJP MP Brij Lal.

Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav who had for several years been the chairman of the Parliamentary panel on health has lost the position to the BJP lawmaker Vivek Thakur.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi which had been at the loggerheads with the Centre too was at the receiving ends, as its MP lost the chairmanship of the panel on Industry, which has gone to the DMK.

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