BJP names Rajnath deputy leader in Lok Sabha, Piyush Goyal in Rajya Sabha

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi already named the leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party, the ruling party on Wednesday announced the nomination of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal as its deputy leaders in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, respectively. The announcement followed a direction to this effect by Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

The party had earlier announced the appointment of Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot as its leader in the Rajya Sabha. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held this post in the previous government.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi will be the government s chief whip and the two ministers of state in his ministry, Arjun Ram Meghwal (Lok Sabha) and V Muraleedharan (Rajya Sabha) will be deputy whips. The BJP chief whips are Sanjay Jaiswal (Lok Sabha) and Narayn Lal Panchari (Rajya Sabha). The secretaries are Ganesh Singh (Lok Sabha) and Bhupendra Yadav (Rajya Sabha). Gopal Shetty is the new treasurer of the parliamentary party.

There are a total of 24 whips, 18 for the Lower House and the rest for the Rajya Sabha. They include four women.

The special invitees from Lok Sabha to the BJP s parliamentary party executive are Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Arjun Munda, Narendra Singh Tomar and Jual Oram. The list of special invitees includes J P Nadda, Om Prakash Mathur, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmedndra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has been re-appointed as in-charge of the party s parliamentary office and Balasubrahmanyam Kumarsu as the secretary.

The first meeting of the executive has been scheduled for June 16 at 3.30 pm, a day before the 17th Lok Sabha meets. The government has also convened an all-party meeting that day in the morning, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Modi.