NEW DELHI: The exit of Union Minister Thawarchand Gehlot from the government has opened up positions of leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha and the parliamentary board of the BJP. The BJP seemingly is sticking with the 75-year age ceiling, as Gehlot, 73, was given an honourable exit from the government as the new Karnataka governor. The party will now look for a new leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.
BJP chief J P Nadda is also a Rajya Sabha MP. However, the party may choose to send out a political message with its choice of the leader of the House, a position which requires working closely with the floor leaders of the Opposition parties for peaceful conduct of the business of the Upper House.
Dushyant Gautam, Rajya Sabha MP, and Ram Shankar Katheria, Lok Sabha MP from Etawah constituency in Uttar Pradesh, are fancying their chances to step into the shoes of Gehlot. The BJP’s Parliamentary Board will now have five vacancies, caused by the absence of former Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar and with M Venkaiah Naidu and Gehlot becoming Vice-President and governor respectively. The BJP will soon unveil the new members in parliamentary board, which is considered to be the highest decision making body of the party.
Currently there are seven members in th parliamentary board Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nadda, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, and Nitin Gadkari, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP national general secretary (Organisation) B L Santhosh.
With no woman being a member, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is a likely entrant to the coveted club. The BJP will also be looking for a scheduled caste or tribal leader in its parliamentary board.