Thawar Chand Gehlot, a prominent Dalit face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was on Tuesday appointed as Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. It is to be noted that Thawar Chand Gehlot has replaced ailing Arun Jaitley, who was a Finance Minister and also a Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha from 2014 to 2019.
Importantly, Thawar Chand Gehlot recently made his way to the Narendra Modi cabinet for a second consecutive time. He was appointed as the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment during the Modi government's first stint in 2014.
As a minister from 2014 to 2019, Thawar Chand Gehlot scripted several schemes for the welfare of the deprived sections of the society as well as for the physically-challenged people. He represented the Shajapur Lok Sabha seat between 1996 and 2009. In 2009, Thawar Chand 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.
However, Thawar Chand Gehlot 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. He 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. The minister is also a member of the BJP's parliamentary board.
Born in Rupeta village in Nagda tehsil of Ujjain district on May 18, 1948, Gehlot graduated from Vikram University, Ujjain. He had been to jail several times between 1968 and 1971 for raising workers' issues as well as during the Emergency in the 1970s.