Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde was on Monday made deputy leader of the BJP in Lok Sabha in place of Sushma Swaraj who has been elevated as Leader of the Opposition.
The appointment of 60-year-old Munde to the key post was made two days after another Maharashtra leader Nitin Gadkari, who had been junior to him in state politics, was made the party chief at the national level.
A prominent OBC leader, Munde has been elected from his home constituency, Beed, in Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Brother-in-law of late Pramod Mahajan, he was deputy chief minister in the Shiv Sena-BJP government from 1995 to 1999.
Ananth Kumar's name was also doing the rounds along with that of Munde for the key post.
The BJP parliamentary party had authorised its chairman L K Advani, who stepped down as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha on Friday, to name deputy leaders and chief whips of the party in both Houses of Parliament.
Ramesh Bais will continue as chief whip in the Lok Sabha, while in the Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia will continue as deputy leader, while Maya Singh remains the chief whip.
The post of deputy leader in the lower house was vacated after Sushma Swaraj was elevated as Leader of Opposition. Senior Leader Arun Jaitley continues as Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.