Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was on Monday named as the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, while Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad was declared the Leader of the Opposition. Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari made the announcement on the first day's sitting of the Upper House after the Lok Sabha elections.
Ansari said Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had written to him on June 2 informing that Jaitley will the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. He said the letter regarding Azad being made the Leader of Congress came to him on Sunday.
Jaitley (61), a senior BJP member was earlier Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha during UPA government, while Azad (65) was Union Health Minister. Both Jaitley and Azad lost elections from Amritsar in Punjab and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir respectively in this Lok Sabha polls but the tenure of their Rajya Sabha membership still remains.
Jaitley had lost to Amarinder Singh of Congress while Azad lost the Lok Sabha polls to BJP's Jitendra Singh, who is now Minister of State in PMO. While Jaitley is a member of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, Congress leader Azad is a member from Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad was on Sunday named as Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha paving the way for his appointment as Leader of Opposition since Congress has 67 members in the 250-member Upper House, which is more than the minimum requirement of 10 percent of the total strength of the House to get LoP post.