BJP fields Jaishankar for Gujarat Rajya Sabha seat after he formally joins party


New Delhi: The BJP on Monday named External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as its candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, hours after he joined the saffron party in the presence of its working president J P Nadda.

Jaishankar, a career diplomat and former foreign secretary, was inducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his government and given the high profile ministry in a surprise development.

He was sworn in as a Cabinet minister along with other members of the government on May 30.

A minister who is not a member of Parliament has to be elected as its member within six months of his or her swearing in.

His joining the BJP was a mere formality after he was inducted in the government.

He became a party member at a ceremony at its office in Parliament.

Bypolls to two Rajya Sabha seats were necessitated after BJP president Amit Shah and another party leader Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha, causing the vacancies.

The BJP is set to win both the seats.

It has named Jugalji Mathurji Thakor its candidate for the second seat.