Union minister for commerce, consumer affairs and food and textiles Piyush Goyal will replace Thaawar Chand Gehlot as the leader of House in Rajya Sabha, signalling the induction of a younger leader for the role usually handled by veterans. Goyal was the deputy leader when Gehlot, who has been appointed as governor of Karnataka, was the leader of the House. Prior to becoming a minister in 2014, Goyal was BJP treasurer, a post held by his father VP Goyal. He was also engaged in poll management activities and for managing logistics during the elections. He has been deputed to various states, including Uttar Pradesh in the 2017 assembly polls.
As deputy leader of the House of Elders, Goyal has been an effective floor manager and played a role in passage of key legislations including the contentious ones for which support of other parties was required. Home Minister Amit Shah and other BJP functionaries greeted Goyal. “Hearty congratulations to Goyal on being appointed as the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. I am sure that Piyush bhai will become the strong voice of BJP in Rajya Sabha with his dedication, strength and energy and he will give more strength to PM Modi Ji’s resolve for welfare of the poor,” Shah tweeted.
Earlier, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said, “Congratulations to Piyush Goyal on being appointed the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. He has been entrusted by PM Narendra Modi with key responsibility. Wishing him continued vigour in the service to the nation.” Joshi tweeted soon after reports came in that the parliamentary affairs ministry has sent its recommendation in this regard to the Rajya Sabha secretariat.
BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh said Goyal’s energy, connect and depth makes “Rajya Sabha a more loveable place for exchange of ideas for national good”.