The BJP Wednesday announced its parliamentary party executive committee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its leader in Lok Sabha and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as the deputy leader. In Rajya Sabha, Union minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot has been appointed as leader of the house and his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal as the deputy leader.
Gehlot replaced senior BJP leader and former Union minister Arun Jaitley as leader of the house in Rajya Sabha. Jaitley had requested the leadership to relieve him from key positions in view of his health. Union minister Smriti Irani's induction in the BJP's parliamentary party executive committee shows elevation in her stature within the party after she defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from the Amethi parliamentary constituency.
The party has appointed Sanjay Jaiswal as its chief whip. It also the first time appointed three women MPs as its whips, specifically for women parliamentarians. Besides these three women whips, 15 other whips for Lok Sabha have also been appointed for parliamentarians from different states, where its strength has increased to 303.
Other special invitees from Lok Sabha to the BJP's parliamentary party executive are Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Arjun Munda, Narendra Singh Tomar and Jual Oram. In Rajya Sabha, special invitees are J P Nadda, Om Prakash Mathur, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmedndra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has been reappointed as in-charge of the party's parliamentary office and Balasubrahmanyam Kumarsu as secretary.
The newly constituted BJP parliamentary party executive committee marks generational shift in the party as perhaps for the first time L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are not part of it, as both are not MPs. Besides them, Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj are also not its members.
The first meeting of the executive will be held on June 16 at 3:30 pm, a day before the commencement of the session. The government has also called an all-party meeting on the same day in the morning which will be chaired by the prime minister.