Days after the Leader of House of the Rajya Sabha Thawar Chand Gehlot resigned from the post after being appointed as the Governor of Karnataka, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has on Wednesday named as the successor of Gehlot to head the Central ruling party in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper house of the Parliament. The appointment of Piyush Goyal has come five days ahead of the commencement of the monsoon session.
Piyush Goyal is one of the senior ministers in the Modi cabinet and elected to Rajya Saha two times including his current tenure. Piyush Goyal has been serving as the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, and Minister of Textiles. He is one of the few ministers who retained their berths in the Union cabinet when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has carried out a major cabinet overhaul and reshuffle for the first time since forming the government for the second term in 2019.
Before the reshuffle, the then Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Tawar Chand Gehlot was serving as the BJP leader in the Rajya Sabha and he was removed from the cabinet as part of the reshuffle. The President of India had appointed Gehlot as the Governor of Karnataka post which he had resigned from the post of BJP's Rajya Sabha leader. As Parliament is gearing up to host the monsoon session from July 19, BJP was in an imperative state of announcing the successor of Gehlot in Rajya Sabha.
Amid speculations on who would win the race, the BJP has picked Union Minister Piyush Goyal as its head in Rajya Sabha. According to reports, 57-year-old Goyal has been serving as the Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha and his appointment has come as an immediate line of succession to Gehlot. Piyush Goyal has been serving in the Rajya Sabha since 2010 and his family has a long association with the BJP. His father Ved Prakash Goyal was Union Minister of Shipping in the BJP government that was led by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
According to reports, the Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has notified the appointment of Piyush Goyal as the BJP leader of the Upper house to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. As the leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, Goyal will occupy the first seat in the house and Prime Minister Modi will sit next to him. The reports say that with a significant elevation, it is expected that Piyush Goyal will get a role in the BJP Parliamentary Board, the party's highest decision-making body.
Goyal was made Union Minister for the first time in 2014. Prior to becoming the Union Minister, Goyal was serving as the treasurer of the BJP and he also had engaged by the BJP in poll management activities for election campaigns. Since his appointment as the BJP leader of Rajya Sabha has made public, several party leaders are expressing their wishes to Piyush Goyal over his new role. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari took to Twitter and wrote in Hindi, "Heartiest congratulations to Piyush Goyal ji on being appointed as the Leader of House in Rajya Sabha."