New Delhi: Union Labour and Environment Minister Bhupinder Yadav (51) is the front-runner for the post of the leader of the Rajya Sabha in the vacancy caused by Thawarchand Gehlot moving to Karnataka as the Governor.
Commerce and Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal (57) is also a claimant for the post since he is the deputy leader of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha.
Both Yadav and Goyal maintained cordial relations with the opposition parties as seen from their approaching the opposition benches in the House whenever the pandemonium broke out. Yadav, a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, is also a national general secretary of the BJP and enjoys closeness with Home Minister Amit Shah.
Being a lawyer by profession, Yadav is the best among the BJP leaders in arguments and that may also weigh in his favour as the government always fielded him to counter the Opposition when the crisis occurred in the House. Two other names in circulation for the post are those of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (61) and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (63) .
Naqvi has also maintained good relations with the opposition parties and he has a comparatively lighter load as the minister to be the leader of the House.
The government has to finalise the name this week itself, ahead of the Parliament session beginning on July 19. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and hence the role of the leader of the House becomes vital in dealing with the Opposition for its smooth running.
The role of the leader of the House also comes into play to rope in support of other parties to get important legislation passed in the house.