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 that 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. Birla had nominated Tharoor as a member of the parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs last month. After he was not appointed the chairman of the panel, Tharoor had claimed that the Narendra Modi government had decided to end the tradition of an opposition member heading the committee.

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