Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday said as chairperson of a parliamentary committee, he was not consulted at all over the recent appointments of personnel attached with committees under the ambit of the Rajya Secretariat.
His remarks came soon after Dhankhar defended his decision to appoint eight members of his personal staff attached with 20 committees, saying it was done after "multi-layered consultations".
Reacting to Dhankhar's remarks, Ramesh tweeted, "The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha has said that his controversial move to have his staff attached to various Committees was after consultations with the respective Chairpersons. I chair a Standing Committee and I can categorically say I wasn't consulted at all." Ramesh, who is the Congress' chief whip in Rajya Sabha and also heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, has described Dhankhar's move as "unprecedented and unwarranted".
Ramesh's remarks that he was not consulted came after Dhankhar, speaking at the release of a book on Mundaka Upanishad by senior Congress leader Karan Singh, said, "I got inputs from a number of members and Chairmen of Committees to do something affirmative to improve productivity. So, I sharpened the human resource attached to Committees." "I put research-oriented, knowledgeable people so that they can help the Committee members to optimize output and performance," the vice president said.
But a narrative has been set afloat by sections of the media that the Chairman has appointed his own members to the Committees, he said. "Has anyone even checked the facts? Committees comprise the Members of Parliament. It is their exclusive domain. I am terribly upset and concerned about what our editors are doing. Can you engage in such a narrative that is based on falsehood? And you don't care to check the truth," Dhankhar said. "I have acted because the Chairmen and members had come up to me and I'm doing it after multi-layered consultations," he said.
Dhankhar on Tuesday appointed eight members of his personal staff attached with 20 committees under the ambit of the Upper House Secretariat.
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