To gain further from a fractured Opposition camp, the government is keen to distribute plum posts in the parliamentary forums among different parties and thereby denying Congress a monopoly in Opposition space.
As negotiations gathered steam between the government managers and Opposition leaders, AIADMK, the key strategic supporter of the NDA is likely to bag the deputy Speaker’s post in Lok Sabha. AIADMK leader M Thambidurai is likely to be elevated to the post.
During the Congress-led UPA regime, the deputy Speaker’s chair went to the NDA — the principal Opposition group.
The Congress may have to settle with the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) the parliamentary watchdog on government expenses.
The biggest opposition party in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has also laid its claim on the chairmanship of standing committee on human resource development.
The Biju Janta Dal (BJD), another issue-based supporter of the Modi government has changed its preference from heading the parliamentary standing committee on finance to railways.
“Recently, the parliamentary affairs minister called me to know if we have any preferred choice. We have conveyed out preference regarding charman’s post,” BJD’s Lok Sabha leader Bhartruhari Mahtab told HT.
The Trinamool Congress, who had three rail ministers in the first four years of the UPA 2, also eyed the rail panel’s chairman’s post. But the government may back the BJD’s choice given the recent spate of Trinamool’s criticism against the NDA.
Mamata Banerjee’s party may get chance to head finance standing committee and travel tourism panel as it is the third largest opposition party after Congress and AIADMK.
This “divide and rule” policy of the NDA government may help it to keep the Congress in check and also ensure a section of the Opposition continues to stay away from the UPA.
The Left parties are unlikely to head any panel.