Advani wrote to Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is also the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, nominating Prasad to the post of deputy leader of the BJP. The position was lying vacant since S S Ahluwalia [ Images ] completed his term in the Upper House and then failed to get re-elected from Jharkhand during the recent biennial polls.
Prasad, a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, will assist Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley [ Images ]. He is also the chief spokesperson and general secretary of the BJP.
A former minister of state in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee [ Images ] government, Prasad served in the coal, mining, law and justice, and information and broadcasting ministries.
The leader from Bihar was recently given a third term in the Rajya Sabha from his state. He had started his political career as an activist in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the BJP. He was arrested in the JP Movement in Bihar and also actively opposed the National Emergency in the 1970s.
As a lawyer-activist, Prasad fought the public interest litigation in the fodder scam in his home state Bihar and was instrumental in the incarceration of several politicians and bureaucrats, including former chief minister Lalu Prasad in the case.
Prasad was also lawyer in the Ayodhya Ram temple title suit case. He represented Ram Lalla, the deity, in the case. The court had ordered trifurcation of the land with one part going to Ram Lalla and the Hindus.