New Delhi: The notification issued by the Prime Minister's Office on May 27 to extend the terms of members of Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council has one prominent name missing from the list - that of Aruna Roy. The terms of the ten other members has been extended for a period "co-terminus" with the term of the present Government.
Professor Virginius Xaxa of the Delhi School of Economics is the new member in the Council.
Even though Aruna Roy had written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi requesting her not to extend her term, her absence will raise eyebrows.
Roy had played a critical role in pushing through the RTI and MNREGS in NAC I. During her current tenure, she has been an outspoken critic of the government's "game-changing" UID and the Direct Cash Transfer schemes.
In recent times, there also has been a feeling that Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council did not enjoy the clout with the Government as it once did. The other member who had decided to opt out is Jean Dreze.
Narendra Jadhav, NC Saxena, Anu Agha, Pramod Tandon, AK Shiv Kumar, Deep Doshi, Farah Naqvi, Mirai Chatterjee, Mihir Shah, and Ashish Mondol continue to be members.