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Only in India: Standing committees for the awesome threesome

October 12, 2012 11:33 IST

Suresh Kalmadi, Kanimozhi and Andimuthu Raja -- none of whom need an introduction -- have been appointed to three standing committees. A Ganesh Nadar says they are the best fit, and explains why

Parliament's website says there are two kinds of committees -- ad hoc and standing. While the ad hoc committee's tenure ends when it finishes its task, the standing committee is always there.

Suresh Kalmadi, Kanimozhi and Andimuthu Raja -- none of whom need an introduction -- have been appointed to three standing committees.

While the opposition is crying foul stating that 'criminals' have no place in parliamentary committees, what they do not say is that such people should not be in Parliament in the first place. Maybe because then there would be not too many left there!

But do these people deserve to be part of the committees, do they have the necessary expertise?

Kalmadi has been appointed to the standing committee on external affairs. Is he qualified? Yes, he certainly is! 

In the scam pertaining to Commonwealth Games -- of which he was the captain -- Kalmadi is accused of placing an order with a Swiss firm for timing and scoring devices at an inflated price. He also accused of placing another inflated order with a London transport firm, AM Cars and Vans. Obviously, he could not place the orders if he did not know how to handle external affairs. 

Pass! Kalmadi qualifies on every count, but we are a little saddened by the fact that all his foreign contacts only seem to be in Europe. Not fair on the Americans. Wonder if they will fund some NGO to expose Kalmadi. 

Kanimozhi has been appointed to the standing committee on home affairs. Is she the right choice? Yes!

The police and prisons are under the home ministry's jurisdiction. And who better to advise on prison reforms than someone who has spent months inside! She has been a resident of the biggest jail in the country (Tihar) for months. It makes her the perfect choice for the standing committee on home affairs. 

We also know she looks after her home like none else. Some company gets a 2G license in Delhi and she gets the company to give her home company a loan of Rs 200 crores in Chennai. What amazing talent that is, especially to receive everything through bank transactions. 'I am the chief minister's daughter and a Rajya Sabha MP and a close friend of the telecom minister and also the most important ally of the ruling Congress' -- that belief must have really boosted her self-confidence.

Raja has been appointed to the standing committee for energy. Does he has the necessary energy to be on this committee? Of course he doesn, defending a Rs 1.76 lakh crore scam requires plenty of energy, doesn't it? 

When he was accused he was gallavanting between New Delhi and Tamil Nadu, hand-in-hand with another accused with a smile pasted on his face. When he was chargesheeted, he had a bigger smile on his face. When he was arrested, he smiled all the way to the jail. In court, despite his incarceration, Raja would sit and whisper to his co-accused as if they were meeting in a park.

He played up the 'I am a Dalit, therefore, I am being hounded' card as long as his mentor and former chief minister M Karunanidhi repeated the same line everytime someone asked.

And the welcome Raja got when he came back from jail! He was waving, dancing and accepting garlands like an Olympic medal winner. Does all this not require energy?

He is still energetically declares, 'I gave away air waves cheaply cause I wanted the common man to speak cheaply'. He conveniently ignores the fact that all the companies sold their licences for astronomical prices, or is some cases their shares.

Mobile telephony is cheap because the competition is intense, not because he gave away spectrum cheap.

Since being out on bail he has been attending Parliament regularly, where I am sure he has plenty to share with the standing committee on energy. I am sure he has lots of hot air, I mean lots of ideas to share with his standing committee, to begin with he can tell them how they can sell power plant licences cheap and make nuclear energy tax-free.

I am really proud of my country. Not only do we welcome such people back to Parliament, we also put them on committees to advise the government on new laws and such. 

Of course, the best person to advise on new laws would be the one who knows all the loopholes.

 

A Ganesh Nadar