Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur has been nominated to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence headed by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
According to the reports, the 21-member Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Defence also includes the likes of Opposition leaders Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Pawar.
Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur entered the 17th Lok Sabha by defeating former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is widely believed to be one of the victims of the Congress party’s attempt to invent Hindu Terror. In 2016, the NIA had given her a clean chit in the Malegaon Blasts case.
The Bombay High Court has granted her bail on health grounds in April 2017 after the NIA dropped charges against her under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. She is currently under trial for multiple charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
What are the Consultative Committees?
The Consultative Committees are attached to various ministries or departments of the Central Government. These committees consist of members of both the Houses of Parliament. The Minister or the Minister of State in charge of the Ministry concerned acts as the chairman of the consultative committee of that ministry.
The consultative committees provide a forum for informal discussions between the ministers and the members of Parliament on policies and programmes of the government and the manner of their implementation. These committees are constituted by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
These committees are normally formed after the new Lok Sabha is constituted, after General Elections for the Lok Sabha. Thus, these committees stand dissolved upon dissolution of every Lok Sabha and are reconstituted upon the constitution of each Lok Sabha.
How are these different from the Departmental Standing Committee?
Consultative committees are different from the Parliamentary Committees (DSC) as the members of the latter are appointed by the speaker of the Lok Sabha in the lower house while RS Chairman appoints the same in the Rajya Sabha. A minister cannot be a member of the Departmental Standing Committee, unlike Consultative Committees.
The main functions of Departmental Committees are consideration of Demands for Grants at the time of the annual budget. Examination of Bills referred to by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha or the Speaker, Lok Sabha is also the duty of the DSCs. Apart from these, the Departmental Committees will also consider Annual Reports of the ministry it is attached to. Finally, it considers the national basic long term policy documents presented to the House and referred to the Committee by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.