Union Minister and senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal was appointed as the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, filling the vacancy left by Thaawarchand Gehlot who is now the Governor of Karnataka.
Goyal, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra, is also in charge of several key ministries, including commerce and industry, consumer affairs, food and public distribution, and textiles. He has been Deputy Leader of the Rajya Sabha when Gehlot was the Leader of the House.
According to the Rajya Sabha Practice and Procedure, “the Leader of the House is an important parliamentary functionary who exercises direct influence on the course of parliamentary business”. This office is not enshrined in the constitution and provided under the Rules of Rajya Sabha.
Apart from the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman, Leader of the House is another functionary who plays important role in the efficient and smooth conduct of the business in the House.
His primary responsibility is to maintain coordination amongst all sections of the House for a harmonious and meaningful debate in the House. For this purpose, he remains in close contact not only with the Government but also with the Opposition, individual ministers and the Presiding Officer.
He occupies the first seat in the Chamber in first row at right the side of the Chair so that he is easily available to the Presiding Officer for consultation. Under the rules, the Leader of the House is consulted by the Chairman in regard to the arrangement of Government business in the House, allotment of days or allocation of time for discussion on the President’s Address, Private Members’ business on any day other than Friday, discussion on No Day-Yet-Named Motions, Short Duration Discussions and consideration and return of a Money Bill.