NEW DELHI: The BJP has constituted its parliamentary executive with defence minister Rajnath Singh staying as the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha even while the baton of leadership in the Rajya Sabha has been handed over to Union Ministers Thawarchand Gehlot and Piyush Goyal.
The first meeting of the BJP parliamentary executive will be held on Sunday, a day before the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha convenes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha. With senior leader Arun Jaitley keeping away from Parliament proceedings due to health reasons, the leadership of the party in the Upper House has been handed over to Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Gehlot, with Goyal as his deputy. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was the deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha earlier, but he is now a member of the Lok Sabha.
The BJP Parliamentary Party has also appointed 18 whips in the Lok Sabha, including two women members. The whips have been assigned MPs for specific states for closer coordination. There will be six whips for the Rajya Sabha.
The 16th Lok Sabha proceedings had, on a number of occasions, seen lukewarm participation of MPs.
Eleven Union ministers are special invitees to the parliamentary party executive. Six special invitee ministers for the Lok Sabha include Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Arjun Munda, Narendra Singh Tomar, Smriti Irani and Jual Oram. J P Nadda, Om Prakash Mathur, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar are special invitees from the Rajya Sabha.