With former social justice and empowerment minister Thawarchand Gehlot’s transfer as Karnataka governor on Tuesday, Bharatiya Janata Party’s highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board, has witnessed its fifth vacancy.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, Gehlot, who is also the leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, has been a member of the parliamentary board since 2006. The board currently has seven members, four short of its full strength of 11 members. Gehlot’s exit leads to the fifth vacancy.
Born in Rupeta village in Nagda tehsil of Ujjain district on May 18, 1948, Gehlot graduated from Vikram University, Ujjain.
Gehlot represented Shajapur in the Lok Sabha from 1996 to 2009 but lost the 2009 general elections. He was the General-Secretary and Vice-President of Janata Party from 1977 to 1980. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1996, 1998, 1999. He also held the positions of member of Committee on Agriculture, member of Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, member of Consultative Committee, Ministry of Labour in 1996 and 1999. He is the most noticeable face of BJP for the Scheduled Castes.
Over the past year, there has been speculation that party president JP Nadda will reconfigure the board that has seven members including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief JP Nadda. The other members of the top panel are Union home Minister Amit Shah, Union defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
In addition, BL Santhosh is also a member of the top panel because he is the BJP general secretary (organisation), a post reserved for pracharaks of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological fount of the BJP.