Former home minister P Chidambaram will chair the parliamentary panel on the ministry, signaling the Congress’ strategy to be aggressive on internal security issues.
Chidambaram, a critic of the government’s handling of the Kashmir crisis and other issues, has replaced Pradip Bhattacharyya at a time the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Pathankot terror attack and other incidents have become a flashpoint between the government and the principal Opposition party.
The party’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, is the chairperson of the panel on law and justice. The Congress has also replaced Ashwani Kumar with Renuka Chowdhury to head the committee on environment and forests.
The Trinamool Congress brought two new faces — Sudip Bandopadhyay and Mukul Roy — in place of Dinesh Trivedi and KD Singh to lead the railway and transport panels.
The composition of the parliamentary standing panels can be changed after they complete their annual terms. The parties nominate the names to the Lok Sabha Speaker or the Rajya Sabha chairman according to the preference of their own members.