K V Thomas takes over as new PAC chairman

Senior Congress leader and a minister in the UPA ministry K V Thomas has taken over as the new chairman of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The PAC chairman's post is usually given to a member from the opposition benches. Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was heading the panel for almost five years during the UPA's tenure.

The AIADMK and the Trinamool Congress are also said to have staked claim for the post.

The Congress is likely to get just three members in the panel. It will be difficult for the party to push its will in the panel as the Congress had created a bad precedence by obstructing the PAC's procedure in the past.

The key committee, which examines CAG reports after they are tabled in Parliament, will hold its first meeting next week.

''We will work as a team. We will examine whatever issues are placed before us,'' the former union minister was quoted by PTI as saying.

The PAC, constituted every year, consists of not more than 22 members - 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and not more than seven members from the Rajya Sabha.

The PAC's controversial 2011 draft report on the 2G scam, which had strongly indicted former telecom minister A Raja and came down heavily on the PMO and the cabinet secretariat for not taking ''corrective action'', continued to be on its 'unfinished agenda' for three years.