A day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, he filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in Gandhinagar on 25 June, along with Jugalji Mathurji Thakor, an OBC youth leader from Mehsana.
The two seats, which were previously held by Smriti Irani and Amit Shah, are going to bypolls on 5 July.
Having served as the foreign secretary in PM Modi’s 2014 tenure, Jaishankar was made External Affairs minister on 31 May, becoming the first foreign secretary to head the MEA as minister.
He retired from the position of foreign secretary in late January 2018 – a post for which it is said that he was personally picked by Modi in 2015.
A career diplomat with a stellar record, the 64-year-old served as India’s ambassador to the US, China, Singapore and Czech Republic. He was also reportedly former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's first choice in 2013 to replace Ranjan Mathai as Foreign Secretary.
In 2014, as an Indian ambassador to United States, Jaishankar also handled matters on planning Modi’s maiden trip to US. Previously, he was a key member of the team that worked on the nuclear deal with the US that was signed by the UPA government in 2007.
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