Speaker Om Birla has nominated Shashi Tharoor as a member of the Parliamentary standing committee on external affairs, which the Congress MP had chaired in the previous Lok Sabha session.

After he was not appointed the chairman of the panel, Tharoor claimed that the government had decided to end the tradition of an Opposition member heading the committee.

“The speaker has changed the nomination of Deepak Baij from Committee on External Affairs to Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers, and also nominated Dr. Shashi Tharoor to the Committee on External Affairs,” Lok Sabha secretariat said in a bulletin.

Under the Congress leader’s chairmanship the panel on external affairs had summoned the then foreign secretary S. Jaishankar over the issue of Doklam standoff between India and China.

Later the panel also called Jaishankar’s successor Vijay Gokhale on the same issue. Jaishankar is now the External Affairs Minister.

Tharoor, who is an elected member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, is presently chairing the panel on information asnd technology.

Tharoor has prior experience in the his long career at the United Nations, which included key responsibilities in peace-keeping after the Cold War and serving as senior adviser to the Secretary-General, in addition to his role as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.

(With inputs from PTI)