External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, one of the surprise entries in newly inducted Cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is likely to be sent to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, as per news agency ANI.
Earlier, there were reports that the Bharatiya Janata Party – which won 303 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections – was keen on nominating him from Tamil Nadu, his home state.
However, the party later decided to send him from Gujarat as two vacancies were created after BJP chief Amit Shah and Smriti Irani won Lok Sabha polls from Gandhinagar and Amethi respectively. They have already resigned from their Rajya Sabha seats.
At present, the BJP's strength in Gujarat Assembly is 105 (including rebel Congress MLAs) and a candidate needs at least 62 votes to be elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.
As per norms, a Union Minister has to become an MP within six months after taking the oath. He can either contest elections to become elected Member of Parliament of Lower House or can be sent to Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar met secretaries and all heads of various divisions of the Ministry. The meeting came three days after Jaishankar took charge of the office. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale was present in the meeting.
"EAM @DrSJaishankar and MoS @VMBJP held a meeting with the Secretaries and Heads of Divisions of @MEAIndia this morning," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
In the meeting, Jaishankar is understood to have broadly shared his vision about the work of the MEA in the next few years.
In a surprise move, PM Modi had last week picked the seasoned diplomat to helm the key ministry, nearly 16 months after he retired as foreign secretary. He served as foreign secretary from January 2015 to January 2018 and both he and Swaraj, the external affairs minister in the previous government, were credited for bringing vibrancy in India's foreign policy.