Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has declined to be a member of the parliamentary standing committee on External Affairs, sources said on Friday. Tharoor had headed the panel in the previous Lok Sabha.
The former Union minister thanked Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for appointing him as a member of the external affairs committee but said he does not want to be simply a member of the panel which he once headed, sources said.
Tharoor also said his hands are full as he has a lot to do in the parliamentary standing committee on information technology which he is heading.
Earlier last month, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had 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.
After he was not appointed the chairman of the panel, Tharoor had claimed that the government had decided to end the tradition of an Opposition member heading the committee.
Under Tharoor's chairmanship the panel on external affairs had summoned 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, the Thiruvananthapuram MP, is now chairing the panel on information and technology.