Thawarchand Gehlot has been appointed as the Leader of House in the Rajya Sabha. He will replace former Union Minister Arun Jaitley.
A prominent Dalit face of the BJP, Thawarchand Gehlot is the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in Narendra Modi cabinet. He has held the portfolio since 2014.
Thawarchand Gehlot’s appointment as the Leader of House in the Rajya Sabha comes after Arun Jaitley’s request to step down from key positions in view of his health.
During his stint as minister during first Modi government, Thawarchand Gehlot had scripted several schemes for the welfare of the deprived sections of the society as well as for the physically-challenged people.
Born in Rupeta village in Nagda tehsil of Ujjain district on May 18, 1948, Thawarchand Gehlot graduated from Vikram University, Ujjain.
Thawarchand Gehlot represented the Shajapur Lok Sabha seat between 1996 and 2009. Following delimitation, Shajapur constituency ceased to exist and Dewas constituency came into being in 2008.
In 2009, Thawarchand Gehlot lost the Lok Sabha poll to Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma, who is currently a minister in the Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government.
The BJP leader became a Rajya Sabha member in 2012 and was re-elected to the Upper House of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh in 2018. His Rajya Sabha term will end in 2024.
Considered close to PM Narendra Modi, Thawarchand Gehlot, one of the most noticeable faces from the Scheduled Caste (SC), was earlier deputed as the central observer for the BJP in Gujarat.
Thawarchand Gehlot was also the general secretary in-charge of the BJP in the national capital as well as Karnataka, and also headed the party’s Scheduled Caste cell.
Thawarchand Gehlot is currently a member of the BJP’s parliamentary board.