Young Bharatiya Janata Party leader Varun Gandhi has been nominated as a member of the key parliamentary standing committee on defence in order to groom him as a future leader of the party and gain valuable parliamentary experience.
Gandhi is among 30 members of the consultative committee for the ministry of defence that has been tasked with the responsibility of surveillance of the administration with a focus on the long-term plans of the ministry.
Defence Minister A K Antony will be the chairman of the committee with Minister of States for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan and V Narayanasamy being its ex-officio members. M M Pallam Raju, minister of state for defence, is also a member of the committee.
Nineteen members are from the Lok Sabha and seven from the Rajya Sabha have been appointed to the committee.
The term of each of the committee members has been fixed at one year. Ten members belong to the Congress, five to the BJP, two each from the Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, and one each from the Biju Janata Dal, the Trinamool Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Janata Dal-United and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Prominent committee members include Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Varun Gandhi, Naveen Jindal, Suresh Kalmadi, V Kishore Chandra Deo, and Sudip Bandhopadhyay.
The committee does not consider matters of day-to-day administration of the concerned ministries/departments.