Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has been appointed as the new leader of Rajya Sabha. Mr. Gehlot will be replacing BJP veteran Arun Jaitley, who was appointed the leader of the house in 2014 after the BJP registered a huge victory in Lok Sabha elections. Mr. Jaitley opted out of the government this time due to health reasons.
Thawar Chand Gehlot, a prominent Dalit face of the BJP, took oath as the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Modi Cabinet. The appointment of him as the leader of the house is being seen as a step by the BJP to lure the Dalit community and give them a message about their representation in parliament.
Mr Gehlot is a Rajya Sabha member representing Madhya Pradesh. Prior to that, he had represented the state’s Shajapur constituency in Lok Sabha from 1996 to 2009. The BJP leader became a Rajya Sabha member in 2012 and was re-elected from Madhya Pradesh in 2018.
After BJP’s massive victory in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Jaitley had written to Prime Minister Modi that he would not be part of the new government, citing his health as the reason behind his request. Post his request, there were speculations going around that who would be his replacement in Rajya Sabha, which now finally have come to rest with the name of Mr. Gehlot.
The Rajya Sabha has been convened to meet for the Budget Session from June 20, the day when President Ram Nath Kovind will address the joint session of the Parliament.