The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday appointed Union Minister Piyush Goyal as the Deputy Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, according to PTI news agency. The two-time Rajya Sabha MP will succeed Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Bihar's Patna Sahib.
Goyal is currently a Rajya Sabha member from of Maharashtra and the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry in the Narendra Modi government. He will be deputy to senior BJP leader Thawarchand Gehlot, the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.
Gehlot, the saffron party’s Dalit face, has been chosen as the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. He was formerly the National Treasurer of the BJP. The appointment for the Leader of the Rajya Sabha is made by the party in power at the Centre.
The 71-year-old leader from Madhya Pradesh has almost four decades of legislative experience. He was a member of the state assembly for several terms and has served in both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, Tikamgarh BJP MP Virendra Kumar Khatik, Minister of State for Women & Child Development and Minority Affairs has been chosen as the protem speaker of the new Lok Sabha.
As the temporary speaker, Khatik will administer the oath to newly elected MPs and preside over the sitting of the Lok Sabha to elect as its permanent speaker.
Khatik is the seven-time MP, who currently represents the Tikamgarh constituency in Madhya Pradesh. From 1996 to 2009, he used to be the parliamentarian from Sagar Lok Sabha seat in the central Indian state.
(With inputs from agencies)