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Leader of Rajya Sabha

Topic covered:

Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Leader of Rajya Sabha

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Leader of House- provisions, roles and functions.

 

Context: Thawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment was recently appointed as Leader of Rajya Sabha. The Leader of the Rajya Sabha is appointed by the party in power at Centre.

 

Leader of House:

  • The term Leader of the House has been defined in Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
  • Leader of the House, according to Rule 2 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha means the prime Minister, if he is a Member of the House or a Minister who is a Member of the House and is nominated by the Prime Minister to function as the Leader of the House.
  • The Prime Minister is invariably the Leader of the Lok Sabha.

 

Roles and functions:

  • The Leader of the House is an important parliamentary functionary and exercises direct influence on the course of parliamentary business.
  • The whole policy of the Government especially in so far as it is expressed in the inner life of the House and in measures dealing with the course of its business, is concentrated in his person.
  • The arrangement of Government business is the ultimate-responsibility of the Leader of the House, though the details are settled, subject to his approval, by the Chief Whip.
  • The Leader of the House makes proposals for the dates of summoning and prorogation of the House for the approval of the Chair.
  • He has to draw up the programme of official business to be transacted in the Session of Parliament, namely, Bills, motions, discussions on general or specific subjects like five-year plans, foreign policy, economic or industrial policy and other important State activities.
  • He fixes inter se priorities for various items of business to ensure their smooth passage.
  • After settling tentative programme for the whole session, he maps out weekly and daily programme depending upon the state of progress of work and announces the programme to the members in advances every week. 
  • The Business Advisory Committee determines the allocation of time for Government Bills and otter business on the basis of suggestions made by or received from him from time to time.
  • The Leader of the Lok Sabha. viz., Prime Minister, never sits in the Business advisory Committee; he or she is represented by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs in the Business Advisory Committee. The Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha is generally a member of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC). In the event, he is not a member of the BAC, he is invited to attend its meetings.