Rajya Sabha: VP Jagdeep Dhankar ‘attaches’ personal staff to 20 Rajya Sabha panels, draws opposition ire | India News


NEW DELHI: Eight members of Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar’s personal staff have been “attached” to 20 House committees that came under the ambit of Rajya Sabha this week, a move that drew criticism from opposition benches, even as Thank you himself asserted that the decision was taken after “multi-layered consultations”.
Dhankhar’s officers on special duty (OSDs) Rajesh N Naik, Akhil Choudhary, Abhyuday Singh ShekhawatDinesh D, Kaustubh Sudhakar Bhalekar, private secretary (PS) Sujeet Kumaradditional PS Sanjay Verma and senior PS Aditi Chaudhary have been deployed to 12 standing committees and eight department-related standing committees under Rajya Sabha.

The RS internal order said the appointments have been made “with immediate effect and until further orders”. These officers have been tasked with assisting committees in their work, which includes attending meetings that are confidential in nature.
Even as experts and opposition parties questioned the need or logic for the appointments, Dhankhar while addressing a book launch on Thursday, defended the move. “You know the importance of committees. I got inputs from number of members and chairmen of committees to do something affirmative to improve productivity. So, I sharpened the human resources attached to the committees. I put research-oriented, knowledgeable people so that they can help the committee members to optimise output and performance,” he said.

The Vice President and RS chairman also lamented the “false narrative” built around the appointments. “A narrative has been set afloat by sections of media that the chairman has appointed his own members to the committees. Has anyone even checked the facts? Committees comprise members of Parliament. It is their exclusive domain. I am terribly upset and concerned what our editors are doing. Can you engage in such kind of narrative which is based on falsehood? And you don’t care to check the truth. I have acted because the chairmen and members had come up to me and I’m doing it after multi-layered consultations,” he said.

We cannot allow doctored narratives to run down our growth story: VP Jagdeep Dhankar

We cannot allow doctored narratives to run down our growth story: VP Jagdeep Dhankar

When asked, officials from the VP’s office did not clarify when or with who these consultations were done.
Opposition MPs, including Congress’s Jairam Ramesh, while questioning the “logic or necessity” of the move, denied being consulted. RJD’s Manoj Jhaon the other hand, called the appointments “fundamentally opposed” to the idea and structure of the standing committees.
“The RS chairman has said that his controversial move to have his staff attached to various committees was after consultations with the respective chairpersons. I chair a standing committee and I can categorically say I wasn’t consulted at all,” Ramesh said.

Legislative experts told TOI there is no past precedent of the personal staff of the RS chairman being appointed to assist parliamentary committees. However, there have been written recommendations, in the past, to draw officials from the Library, Reference, Research, Documentation and Information Service (LARRDIS) – the academic wing of RS Secretariat – to assist with committee work. None of Dhankhar’s personal staff are from LARRDIS.

Delhi: VP Jagdeep Dhankhar participates in Holi celebration at Vice President’s House

Delhi: VP Jagdeep Dhankhar participates in Holi celebration at Vice President’s House


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