T.R.Baalu explains his role on parliamentary committee on Railways

Chennai: A Parliamentary standing committee is constituted by the presiding officers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and not by the prime minister, and the chairman of such a committee is chosen on the basis of seniority!,  DMK leader TR Baalu said on Thursday.

Baalu, beside being DMK parliamentary party leader, serves as chairman of the standing committee on railways.

He was reacting to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s charge in the assembly Wednesday that there was a discrepancy in the DMK pulling out of the United Progressive Alliance at the centre, while Baalu headed the standing committee on railways.

Speaking in the assembly Wednesday, Jayalalithaa had said that while DMK president M Karunanidhi tried to project the withdrawal by his party of support to the Congress-led UPA as a “sacrifice”, he remained silent as Baalu continued to be chairperson of the standing committee on railways.

Baalu claimed, in his defence, that even members of Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK could be on standing or consultative committees of parliament.

He explained that as a senior member of the Lok Sabha, he was appointed chairman of the standing committee on railways by the presiding officer.

He said his presence on the committee had nothing to do with the United Progressive Alliance.