Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at Parliament | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
File photo | Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at Parliament | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has not attended a single meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence since its formation as part of the 17th Lok Sabha last year.

The committee has met 11 times since September 2019, with the last meeting having been convened on 12 March. According to the Lok Sabha website, Gandhi, who is a member of the committee, hasn’t attended any of these meetings.

The committee is a departmentally related standing committee (DRSC) of select members of Parliament. It is one of the 24 DSRCs, including on agriculture, commerce, human resource and development, among others.

The defence parliamentary committee has a total of 31 members — 21 from the Lok Sabha, nominated by its speaker, and 10 from the Rajya Sabha, nominated by its chairman. It is responsible for examining bills pertaining to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), along with other defence-related issues of importance in Parliament. The term of office for the members of the committee does not exceed one year.

BJP MP Jual Oram, who is the chairman of the committee, refused to comment on Gandhi’s absence.

However, some other BJP leaders ThePrint spoke to attacked Gandhi, saying the leader who skipped these meetings is now criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the India-China border standoff.

The Congress, meanwhile, defended Gandhi, saying his absence from these meetings has no bearing on the LAC situation.

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Also read: The fundamental flaw in Priyanka Gandhi’s Uttar Pradesh strategy 


‘Rahul merely trying to score brownie points’

The committee’s functions include considering the demands for grants of the MoD, examining bills pertaining to the MoD, examining the annual report of MoD, considering national basic long-term policy documents presented to both Houses, and make reports on all their examinations.

Seen as ‘mini parliaments’, the parliamentary standing committees are said to have immense importance. They vet bills and analyse policy changes. The recommendations made by these committees is in no way binding, but their reports do hold weight.

The BJP leaders ThePrint spoke to said Gandhi’s absence from the parliamentary committee meetings shows his “lack of seriousness” on matters of governance.

“He is speaking so vociferously on the India-China issue, constantly attacking the government. But the parliamentary committee is where he could have made real contributions, but chose not to. This just shows his level of seriousness on issues of governance,” BJP leader Bizay Sonkar Shastri told ThePrint.

Shastri also said the Congress leader’s attack on the border situation with China is “merely to score brownie points”.

Gandhi’s constant criticism of the central government over the India-China border standoff included a pun on the PM’s name, calling the latter “Surender Modi” for ‘surrendering’ territory to China.

More recently, the Congress leader also said that “Ladakhis…are screaming a warning” and ignoring it “will cost India dearly”.

Last month, Gandhi had tweeted saying: “China killed our soldiers. China took our land. Then, why is China praising Mr Modi during this conflict?”

The Congress, however, said at a time when the country is facing a border stand-off with China, the focus shouldn’t be on Gandhi’s attendance in the parliamentary committee meetings.

“His absence from the meetings is not the reason why India is facing an LAC stand-off with China. It isn’t the reason why we witnessed the first deaths at the LAC in the last 45 years,” said party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergil.

The Congress also attacked Modi for “being the only PM to take 9 official visits to China” — five times as PM and four times as the chief minister of Gujarat.

“Modi needs to explain how despite his bonding with Xi Jinping, this could happen in the country,” Shergil added.

With inputs from Shanker Arnimesh


Also read: In second batch, Rahul Gandhi provides 175 smart TVs to tribal students in Wayanad


 

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15 Comments Share Your Views

15 COMMENTS

  1. From years opposition is saying you are making standing committee irrelavent,by bypassing its legislations.I think if you would have been unbiased u can understand why he is not attending it.

  2. No surprises here. There was no power, money or publicity to be gained by Rahul Gandhi from attending these meetings. Only National Interest which has been the least of Khangress concerns beginning with Nehru. Besides, in a meetin g of this nature, he is likely to meet wiser counsel which any Khangressi following in Nehru’s foots steps would be averse to.

  3. Why he has been chosen to be member of suvh an important. He is better on chinese committee s from where his party is getting money. Those who do not attend a committee meetings for three times the member should be thrown out and may be debarred forever on any of the Govt committees. It appears tbat even the Govy has no brain to nominate such brainless creatures.

  4. It is shame that since Sept. 2019 to March 2020, eleven standing committee meetings on Defence were held, but Rahul Gandhi has not attended a single Standing Committee meeting. It’s harshly to say he should be penalised for not attending such a important meeting. Italian gange from Congress has no right to bark against BJP.

  5. The Guy Played It Safe By Not Attending .He Need Not Undergo The Pain Of Understanding Things.He Is At Liberty To Throw All Ridiculous Defence Related Salvos At The PM.At Liberty To Call Anyone And Everyone Chor.

  6. He seems to be ” NOT CONCERNED ABOUT DEFENSE OF INDIA ” . Why he should waste his valuable time on such exercise. His IT team is capable of coming out with any tweet to project downwards India s defenses and attempt to demoralize Indian government, Indian population to the advantage of India s enemies.

  7. Would it not be better for PRINT to also list the attendance numbers of all the other Members, so that this is more objective in content ??
    Or is that too difficult – the present piece of news would be reinforcing things if the gravity of the non attendance stood exposed- if all the others were always presnent etc etc

  8. His actions are hypocritical, Duplicitious. The pompous Congress spokepersons should know that his actions do not in any way impact anything which happ na at the LAC but shows the whole country the CHARACTER of their so call PM candidate.
    That he is just a Duplicitious, fraud without any integrity. That he does not have any intellectual ballast or rudimentary powers of a normal human brain the country already knows.

  9. Really. Balanced reporting=an account of BJP members’ attendance and how it contrasts.
    Are we selectively targeting opposition based on leaked stories from “sources” within parliament?

  10. This is so unbelievable and incredibly unfortunate for our nation. For any Lok Sabha M.P, to serve on those committees should be privilege, an opportunity to learn and serve.
    We need a viable opposition leader. The leaders of the Congress party have failed us. They do not have the will to courage to bring change at the top by replacing this inept Bahadur Shah Zafar of the Congress party called – Rahul Gandhi. Despite two failed attempts at India’s General elections, decimating the Congress Party structure, exhibiting a completed lack of political conviction and several train wreck public moments Rahul Gandhi, is NOT leaving our political landscape soon. So, I want to give him some advice so he can become a more well-rounded, effective leader that his mother has always wished he become:
    1. Resign immediately from all political posts you hold. Contrary to what your sycophants tell you, the Congress party will survive and flourish. The Indian electorate will not lose any sleep over losing a widely mocked, dim witted candidate whose political journey has been a disaster.
    2. Take a 10-year break from political life for self-improvement and personal development. Growing up in privilege with a famous last name has stunted your mental growth.
    3. Get a real job outside politics something that requires administration, managing people, making tough decision and stuff like that. A real job will demand from you good work ethic. It will teach you that a position of authority is earned, and it comes with a lot of responsibility and accountability.
    4. Study Economics. Read Military strategy. Knowledge cannot be faked. Learn about Art, History. It will help you develop a world view and a coherent political ideology. Your last stint at education did not go well. You had a privilege to start at Cambridge and ended up finishing school at a Florida Community College. That was years ago. It is never too late.
    5. Shun all financial help from Mommy. Make your own money, manage and survive on your earnings. It will give you a genuine understanding of how ordinary Indian families live on a limited wage. Empathy does not come from sleeping in a poor villager’s hut. That is a just a futile public relations exercise that does not resonate with the savvy Indian electorate.

  11. This is just another example of how serious he is about his politics. You can hire tweet writers but can’t send them to parliament on your behalf I suppose.

  12. Rahul Gandhi is the Chinese mole inside the parliamentary standing committee on defence – he is the real life Manchurian Candidate.
    People of India – beware.

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