The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday named External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar its candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, reported PTI. This came hours after he formally joined the saffron party in the presence of its Working President JP Nadda.

A minister who is not a member of Parliament has to be elected within six months of his swearing in. Jaishankar was appointed the external affairs minister on May 31, a day after the new Union Cabinet took oath.

Bye-polls to two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat were necessitated after Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha. The party has named Jugalji Mathurji Thakor its candidate for the second seat.

Jaishankar was a key member of the Indian team that negotiated the Indo-US nuclear deal in 2007, during the tenure of the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government. He has also served as India’s ambassador to China and the United States.

The 1977-batch Indian Foreign Service officer was also India’s high commissioner to Singapore and envoy to the Czech Republic. Earlier this year, Jaishankar was conferred the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the country.

Earlier this month, Jaishankar had said that the five years of the previous government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had kept alive and even strengthened the expectation of change in India. He said this was one of the biggest takeaways from the results of the Lok Sabha elections.

“A large majority of people in India recognised that India’s stature in the world has risen in the last five years,” Jaishankar had said at a seminar in Delhi. Another change was the growth of nationalism across the world. “The reasons are very different, every society is different,” he said. “That nationalism has been validated electorally in many places.”