NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the new leader of the reconstituted BJP Parliamentary Party in both Houses of Parliament, while Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be the deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha.
The new set up announced by the party predictably has Modi at the helm in both Houses, while Rajnath has now officially emerged as the number two in the government hierocracy. Modi entrusted parliamentary duties to several new MPs, who have been made whips in the parliamentary executive committee announced on Saturday.
Being the number two man, even in the current seating arrangement in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath sits next to the PM, followed by Sushma Swaraj and then L K Advani. In the Cabinet meetings too, Rajnath sits next to Modi.
The newly constituted BJP Parliamentary Party executive committee announced has Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu as the government’s chief whip, with ministers of state for parliamentary affairs Prakash Javadekar and Santosh Gangwar becoming deputy government whips in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively.
The party has also named 13 whips in the Lok Sabha and three in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP has 280 MPs in the Lok Sabha thus necessitating more whips to manage the MPs in the House. The ruling party has given responsibility to more MPs so as to involve them in Parliament work.
During the last Lok Sabha, Advani was the chairman of the BJP Parliamentary Party, while Sushma was Leader of Opposition. Jaitley was the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha. Known for her knowledge of parliamentary rules and conventions, Sushma has been formulating her party’s strategy in the House. Now the role has gone to her other Cabinet and party colleagues.
Modi was earlier elected as the leader of the parliamentary party after the swearing in of MPs in May. More: P9