Piyush Goyal appointed BJP deputy leader in Rajya Sabha

Railways minister Piyush Goyal will be the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s new deputy leader in Parliament’s upper House or the Rajya Sabha, the party announced on Wednesday.

Goyal will replace law and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is now a member of Lok Sabha. Defence minister Rajnath Singh will continue to be the BJP’s deputy leader in Lok Sabha.

Goyal, 54, is a second term Rajya Sabha member and son of former Union minister Vedprakash Goyal.

He was inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s previous government as a junior minister with independent charge of coal and power. He was promoted to the cabinet rank in September 2017 and also given the charge of railways.

Goyal also held the finance portfolio in Modi’s previous government when Arun Jaitley took a leave for treatment. He is also a former BJP treasurer.

The BJP on Tuesday appointed social justice minister Thawarchanda Gehlot as the party’s leader in Rajya Sabha. He has replaced Jaitley, who opted out of the Union council of ministers over health reasons. Gehlot, a four-time Lok Sabha member, is serving his second term in Rajya Sabha.

The BJP has appointed Sanjay Jaiswal as its Lok sabha chief whip. It also appointed three women Parliament members as its whips for the first time.

Besides these three women whips, 15 other whips for Lok Sabha have also been appointed for parliamentarians from different states. In Lok Sabha, the BJP’s strength has increased to 303.

Kailash Vijayvargiya has been reappointed as in-charge of the party’s parliamentary office and Balasubrahmanyam Kumarsu as its secretary.

Modi will be the leader of the BJP’s parliamentary party executive, which also includes party president Amit Shah among others. Other special invitees from Lok Sabha to the BJP’s parliamentary party executive are Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Arjun Munda, Narendra Singh Tomar and Jual Oram.

The BJP has also appointed six whips for the upper house, where it is the single largest party with 70 members.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published:
Jun 13, 2019 00:00 IST

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