Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee have managed to post some gains in the distribution of chairmanships of parliamentary standing committees.
Though a formal announcement is yet to be made, Yadav is likely to chair the panel on energy that will discuss budgetary allocations and other issues involving sectors like coal, non-conventional energy, power and atomic power.
The SP had expressed the desire for either energy or IT and communications or petroleum and natural gas, which is expected to play an important role in the battle between Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries Limited and Anil Ambani of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
The two brothers are locked into a conflict over the supply of gas from Reliance’s KG Basin gas-field. Energy is also a matter of interest to brothers Ambani, and the SP has openly aligned with Anil Ambani.
Banerjee ensured the exit of CPM’s Basudeb Acharia, who chaired the railways panel in the previous Lok Sabha. The position is likely to go to DMK’s T R Baalu, while Acharia will head the agriculture panel.
The Congress’s Rajya Sabha member Jayanthi Natarajan will head the committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice that will scrutinise the Women’s Reservation Bill.
The Congress will also get to head the panels on human resources development, science and technology, defence, IT, petroleum, food, labour and water resources. The BJP will chair the panels on home, commerce, external affairs, finance, rural development and chemicals and fertilisers.