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Piyush Goyal gets a step up in BJP, named new Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha

Piyush Goyal replaces former Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, who was dropped from the Union Cabinet and appointed Karnataka governor last week.

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New Delhi: In what is being seen as his growing political stature within the BJP, Commerce and Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal was Wednesday appointed as the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. 

The post had fallen vacant after former social justice and empowerment minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot was dropped from the Union cabinet and appointed as the Karnataka governor.

Parliament sources said Goyal’s elevation is a big recognition and acknowledgment of his position in the party. 

“It’s a very influential and prestigious position. In the past, the post has been held by political stalwarts such as Lal Bahadur Shastri, Kamalapati Tripathi, Indrajit Gupta, Manmohan Singh, Lal Krishna Advani, Pranab Mukherjee, Arun Jaitley among others,” a source in Parliament said. 

Goyal has been a Rajya Sabha member since 2010. 

The cabinet minister, a BJP source told ThePrint, is very articulate and has the knack of reaching out to leaders in other parties too, qualities which will come in handy in his new role. 

As Leader of the House, Goyal has to liaison between the government and opposition parties in the Upper House, the BJP source added. 

“He has an amiable personality and has the ability to reach out to the opposition,” the source said. “In the past too, as a member of Rajya Sabha, he had been involved in backroom negotiations with the opposition, whenever there was a logjam in the House over some bill or contentious issue.” 

In last week’s cabinet overhaul, Goyal, who had been the railways minister since 2019,  was given commerce and textile ministries. He is also part of five cabinet committees. 

Leader of the House

According to the Rajya Sabha rules of business, the leader of the House deals with procedural matters relating to the business of the House and tenders his advice whenever required. For that pur­pose, he is usually present either in the House or in his room during parliament discussion, among others. 

As a matter of convention, the leader of the House is generally consulted when a motion for suspension of a  member from the service of the House is moved.

Besides, the leader of the House also “shapes the course and content of legislation in as much as he is often the final voice in deciding as to what amendments will be acceptable, what private members’ bills will receive the support of the government, and whether a question should be left to a free vote”. 

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: Bengal BJP infighting grows, Dilip Ghosh complains about Babul Supriyo, Saumitra Khan to Nadda



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